Makes 4 servings.
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed of tough ends
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large ripe yellow tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or substitute 3 to 4 plum tomatoes
- 1/2 c. Italian white wine, for example, Orvieto*
- 1/2 c. chicken stock, canned or homemade
- 1/2 c. fresh basil, cut in chiffonade (very fine slices)
- 1/2 lb. orecchiette (little ears) pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
- 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. shredded Provolone cheese
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the asparagus in a shallow dish or pan and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut into 3- to 4-inch long pieces. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan or deep skillet, sauté the shallots and garlic in olive oil until translucent in a large sauté pan or deep skillet. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they are soft and give up their juices.
Add the wine and chicken stock. Boil over high heat until reduced by about one-fourth. Add the asparagus pieces and boil about 2 minutes. Add the basil and mix. Add the freshly cooked pasta, and stir to coat.
Add the cheeses and toss to melt Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Variation: You may substitute smoked provolone for the regular provolone cheese in the recipe..
*If you don't wish to use wine, substitute additional chicken broth.