Wednesday, June 3, 2015

penne with asparagus, shiitake, and pancetta

Ok, so here's the other pasta dish I promised to share with you on Monday . . . penne with asparagus (a favorite of mine!), shiitake, and pancetta.

It's a delicious recipe with which to use the remainder of your mascarpone, chicken broth, and asparagus.

The preparation is very similar to the pasta dish I shared with you earlier in the week, except that I switched up the kind of pasta and a few of the supporting ingredients.

Here's what I love about this simple pasta dish . . . The lemon vinaigrette that initially coats the pasta brightens the whole dish, especially the asparagus . . . and then you have the earthy flavor of the shiitake, and the salty bite from the pancetta (or bacon, if you like!) to round out the dish. . . AND THEN it's coated in the LIGHT cream sauce, making for a delicious dish. YUM!

penne with asparagus, shiitake, and pancetta
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
12 oz. dried penne rigate
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium lemon, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest; squeezed to yield 3 Tbs. juice
3/4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, about 6 slices
12 oz. fresh shiitake, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (6 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. medium-thick asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 oz. mascarpone, at room temperature
3 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup); more, shaved, for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, whisk 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest in a small bowl.

Drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the lemon mixture; set aside.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

In a 12-inch skillet, cook the pancetta in the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, turning once or twice until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes; transfer to paper towels.

Add the shiitake to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the pasta pot.

Add the asparagus to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil; scrape up any browned bits AND cook until it’s reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and whisk in the mascarpone, whisking until the cheese is dissolved into the broth. Continue to cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes more.

Return the pasta and shiitake to the skillet and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. 

Add grated cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine,

Sprinkle cooked pancetta, and top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
inspired by a Fine Cooking recipe

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  1. Both of your spring pasta dishes look so delicious! Completely different flavors, but both so appetizing. The ingredients are unique too; I'll have to try mascarpone. I'm amazed that such a little bit can go such a long way. Hope you are having a good week!!

  2. We tries your first Spring Pasta dish on Tuesday. Delish. And now, lucky us, we have leftover asparagus for this one. Thanks.

  3. Oh dear!! My heart is going into overdrive and I am drooling. It's not because I'm hungry, even though I am. And it's not because the recipe sounds scrumptious, because it does. It's because the photo of the penne, asparagus, shiitake and pancetta look so lifelike I'm ready to eat the screen. I am pinning this and I will be making it very , very soon. Thank you for sharing. Big, big hugs!!

  4. Oh this really is comfort food. I could totally dig into this...the perfect feel good meal :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Momday on Smart Party Planning.

  5. This looks absolutely fabulous! I'm definitely going to have to try it!

  6. This looks divine! I will have to make it one night when Mr. Front Porch is not going to be home. The boys and I would love it I think.

  7. I made this for dinner tonight with bacon...delicious! Thanks for great recipes and the beautiful photos that make me want to create them! This is the first savory dish of yours I've tried.... I've made several of your desserts and cookies. All have been great!

    1. Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a comment about the recipe!
      So happy that you and your family enjoyed it! It's one of our favorites.
      Have a great week,

  8. This looks like a wonderful spring recipe! I love fresh asparagus.


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