This is a dinner that I never ever ever would have considered making before I met my husband. Ever. I cannot stress this enough. Mushrooms? Slimy. Asparagus? Gross! I don't know how he did it, but he managed to get me to try both again, and turns out - they're both tasty! Especially in this! (What isn't yummy with mascarpone, really?)
I'll also say that the very first time I made this recipe, I left out the walnuts. Why? I don't like them. (Ha!) I tried it again, and because of the husband, I added the nuts... and... as you can probably guess.. I liked it... I still don't really like walnuts, but I do appreciate them in this meal.
I wasn't sure I'd be making any pasta this week, so I'm glad I managed to fit it in, so I can participate in my third Presto Pasta Night, hosted by the lovely Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast! (Thanks, Ruth!) The recipe makes a lot, so if you don't have a lot of mouths to feed, plan on leftovers. Most of the sauce soaks into the pasta, so it won't look as good reheated, but it will taste juuuuust fiiiiiiine. :)
Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts
By Giada de Laurentiis
1 pound farfalle pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 cup mascarpone cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.