Orecchiette with Asparagus, Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Parmesan

This is a very simple and healthy side dish. My daughter had a friend over for dinner who happens to be quite picky so I wanted to make something that she would be willing to try. I kept the pasta very simple and without any sauce. The sautéed veggies tasted great with the orecchiette that was seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. I served this pasta with the Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts  and my House Salad for a tasty and delicious meal even my daughter’s friend seemed to like. Yay!

Prepare the orecchiette in salted water per instructions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the grape tomatoes and chopped asparagus; cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan then add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the orecchiette along with the spinach, pine nuts, and some reserved liquid if needed. Pour into a serving bowl and serve with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

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Orecchiette with Asparagus, Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Parmesan

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 5 min.

Cook Time: 10 min.

Total Time: 15 min.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb orecchiette, cooked per instructions
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 cup of grape tomatoes
10 spears of asparagus, wooden ends removed, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (more if desired)
1 cup of baby spinach
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Prepare the orecchiette in salted water per instructions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the grape tomatoes and chopped asparagus; cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan then add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the orecchiette along with the spinach, pine nuts, and some reserved liquid if needed. Season well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; toss to coat evenly. Pour into a serving bowl and serve with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net