Penne Rigate with Smoked Mozzarella and Asparagus Tips
Recipe type: Entree
  • ¾ pound asparagus, cut diagonally into 1-inch sticks
  • 12 ounces penne rigate (quill noodles)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ pound smoked mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large saucepot.
  2. Add the asparagus; cook 3 minutes until tender, but still crisp.
  3. Drain the asparagus, then shock in cold water to stop further cooking.
  4. Using the same boiling water, cook pasta until al dente.
  5. In the meantime in a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat; add onion, sauté 5 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to low; add garlic and sauté 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in asparagus, thyme leaves and salt.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Return pasta to the pot; toss with remaining olive oil.
  10. Add reserved pasta water to the sauce; stir.
  11. Combine pasta with the sauce, then add cubes of smoked mozzarella.
  12. Toss well.
  13. Serve immediately so that the cheese melts from the heat of the pasta and sauce.
Recipe by Pizza Today at