the nine days: day 6

Today being Shabbat (or, rather, today having been Shabbat – it ends shortly after sundown), we are able to eat meat (as referenced in yesterday’s post). However, I had some leftover pasta in the freezer that was meatless, so I pulled it out and we had that. It’s one of my absolute favorite pasta dishes.

The last time I made it, we had company. I made it for company, because it can be kind of expensive. It’s one of those pasta dishes that uses asparagus and pistachios and heavy cream, none of which are the cheapest ingredients at the grocery store. When I made it, it was also Shabbat, so I felt it was a good use of money. 🙂

And, as you can see, it made plenty! So we had leftovers! So they went into the freezer! So out they came, for a perfect, already-cooked meal for Shabbat!

I don’t actually remember where I first found this recipe. I have a vague feeling that it was in a Cuisine At Home magazine, but don’t quote me on that. Here, I have recreated it for you.


Penne with Pistachios, Asparagus, and Cream

Makes about 10 cups


1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts
1 lb thin asparagus, cut into thirds
1/4  cup unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
1/4  t ground pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup half and half
1/4  cup heavy cream
1 1/2  t sea or kosher salt
1 lb dry penne pasta
1/2  cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook the asparagus in a stock pot in boiling salted water, uncovered, over medium-high heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove asparagus, saving the water so the pasta can be prepared in the same pot.

Sauté garlic in butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, pressing the garlic with a wooden spoon to release its flavor. When the edges start to brown, remove and discard garlic. Add the asparagus and pepper. Increase heat to high and pour in the wine, stirring for about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Pour the half and half and cream over asparagus mixture and simmer about 2 minutes. Season with salt; keep warm while boiling the pasta.

Prepare penne (in asparagus water) according to package directions; drain and return to the pot. Combine asparagus sauce with pasta, stirring over low heat. Add cheese, stirring until it melts; transfer to a platter.

Garnish with pistachio nuts and serve immediately.


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