Orecchiette Pasta with Yellow Tomatoes, Asparagus and Italian Cheeses

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends discarded
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large (about 1-1/2 lbs.) ripe yellow tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. crispy, dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. basil, in thin "ribbons" (chiffonade)
  • 1/2 lb. orecchiette (little ears) pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/3 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c. Provolone or Asiago cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Cover asparagus with boiling water. Cover and let sit 3 minutes. Drain. Grill on lightly-oiled griddle or skillet over high heat until asparagus is al dente and somewhat browned. Set aside. When cool, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces.

Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and sauté until they are soft and give up juices. Add wine and chicken stock. Boil over high heat until reduced by about a fourth. Add asparagus pieces and basil; mix. Add freshly cooked pasta and stir to coat. Add cheeses and toss to melt. Serve immediately.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.