Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta & Pine Nuts

Lorenzo & I are changing up our eating habits to more healthier options, we really want to lose some extra pounds and stay at a healthy weight. Recently, I had added Cooking Light as a magazine subscription so I can start rotating healthier recipes into our menu. I know it seems like I cook like fancy-schmancy food all the time, but I do cook simple and healthy recipes as well. I just never feature all the plain boring stuff that we eat, just the fancy meals. But I really liked this recipe because it was easy to prepare, and it took me only 30 minutes. I had everything in my kitchen and pantry, except the cannellini beans so I didn’t get to prepare the white bean thyme crostini that is paired with this meal. I can imagine that is pretty delicious as well. I added a couple cherry tomatoes from my garden as garnishment, because they were too stinking cute and I like garnishing my pasta with a tomato on top!

Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, & Pine Nuts

Adapted from Cooking Light March 2010 issue

Ingredients8 ounces uncooked rigatoni pasta1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces1 teaspoon minced garlic3 tablespoons pine nuts2 ounces diced pancetta1 red bell pepper, diced2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese1 or 2 sprays from Misto (Olive Oil spray) or PAM1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped fine


1. Preheat oven to 400°.2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return to pan, and toss well.3. Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.4. Increase oven temperature to 475°.5. Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp.

6. In a small saucepan warm to medium-high, using a misto or PAM, saute the bell peppers and garlic.

7. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, cheese and Italian parsley.

Nutritional Information

Calories:385; Fat:14.3g; Protein:14.9g; Carbohydrate:47.2gFiber:3.6g; Cholesterol:15mg; Iron:3.6mg; Sodium:584mg;Calcium:113mg

Review: This was a balanced meal, and a nice change from the heavier pasta meals that we usually make. I’m looking forward to cooking healthier dishes from Cooking Light.

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