This is a quick dish to throw together when you do not have much time. It can either be an appetizer portion in a 3 course menu or the main star of the show. Vegetarians take note ~ NO MEAT!
10 Cherry tomatoes, halved
6 Asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped into 1 1/2″ lengths
1 Serving of dry, whole wheat pasta (spaghetti/spaghettini/fettucini)
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Garlic Croutons, crushed (about 5 croutons)
1 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped
Pinch of Red Pepper FLakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil a pot of lightly salted water and cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is almost done, add asparagus to the pasta water and turn the heat off but let the pasta and asparagus sit in the pot for about 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat Olive Oil over med-high heat, when pan is hot, add tomatoes, crouton crumbs and red pepper flakes. Stirring constantly, cook tomatoes for about 1 minute. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Add drained pasta and asparagus and the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta. Add half the parmesan cheese and the chopped basil, toss to coat completely. Remove from heat.
Serve immediately garnished with the remainder of the parmesan cheese.