I was inspired to make this recipe after one of my best friends, Pixie Yates, sent me a picture of the dinner she made Saturday night at her home in NYC. Pixie is many things; fashion designer, artist, realtor, beautiful mother, wife and a great cook! We both lived in LA in the ’80’s and we created many fabulous dinner parties from our bible, Bon Appetit. If we weren’t cooking we were out trying every single Wolfgang Puck restaurant as soon as he opened them. I guess you could say we were foodies, before they had a name for us. Loved anything Jonathan Gold, and Ruth Reichel wrote about. Pix, now resides in NYC and is married to the fabulous chef, Jimmy Carbone, who owns Jimmy’s No. 43. Check it out next time you are in NYC.
Back to Pixie’s recipe; she included ramps, asparagus, Italian parsley, arugula, prosciutto de Parma ( small amount) crushed red pepper, lemon zest , anchovies and bucatini. I didn’t have time to go to the fancy market so I went to my neighborhood grocery store chain and I bought what they had and what looked the freshest. I ended up with asparagus, a bright red bell pepper and spring onions. We love ramps but they are hard to come by in Texas, the spring onions would have to do and they were just great. I made an arugula salad on the side. Add any of Pixie’s ingredients to this dish or make up your own. Both dishes are light and delicious.
Penne with Asparagus
- 1/2 pound of thin spaghetti
- 2 tab olive oil
- 1/2 teas of salt & pepper
- 1 bunch of spring onions, cut on the diagonal
- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut on the diagonal, bite size
- 1 bright red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the onions and asparagus, add the salt and pepper. After a few minutes add the bell pepper. Saute all until tender but still firm. Add more olive oil if you need it. Stir in the lemon zest, crushed red pepper to taste and turn off the heat. Boil a pot of water for the pasta and cook the pasta until al dente. Mix together and serve with grated romano cheese.