Pasta cu Sparaci, Funci, é Piseddi: Pasta with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas:

2014-07-16 12.34.50

Today was a busy day, I spent the entire day running errands. Sometimes it seems as though there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Being pressed for time, I decided on making pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, and peas.  This is a great pasta dish to prepare when you don’t have a lot time to invest in the kitchen.  It is super simple and satisfying.

It was my grandfather Vincenzo’s favorite dish and making it always leads me to reminisce about him.  I can picture him now, cooking pasta in the basement kitchen using a large cast iron frying pan.  Sicilians like to have two kitchens, one to cook on and one to keep immaculate for show.  His pasta was a simpler version made only with asparagus.  I like to add mushroom and peas.  Buon appetito!

PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOM, AND PEAS
(Pasta cu sparaci, funci, é piseddi/ Pasta con asparagi, funghi, é piselli)

Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS:
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree (28 ounces)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
Salt and pepper
Sugar or honey
1 pound rotini or farfalle pasta
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch covered skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and sauté I minute.  Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add asparagus and mushrooms, sauté 3 minutes longer, until mushrooms start to lightly brown.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, peas, and about 1/2 cup water to thin out the sauce a little.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes longer.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and place pasta back into pot or a large serving bowl.  Stir in sauce and place into individual serving bowls.  Serve with grated cheese on top.

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