Orecchiette with Creamy Asparagus Sauce

Pastas and Stir-fries.
Orecchiette means ears in Italian, and these small, concave disc-shaped pastas sort of resemble ears. If your market doesn't carry orecchiette, use another small, fairly flat pasta shape for this dish, such as farfalle (bow ties). 

Orecchiette with Creamy Asparagus Sauce


Quantity Ingredients
10 ounces orecchiette pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% milk
1 tsp tarragon
1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. 2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add asparagus and wine. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. 3. In a small bowl, combine flour, milk and tarragon. Stir milk mixture into skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. 4. Stir in cream cheese, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce and salt and cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. 5. Toss drained pasta with asparagus sauce and Parmesan. Nutritional Information per serving: 391 calories, 9g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 3.4g dietary fiber, 17mg cholesterol, 483 mg sodium.  

Source: Whole Health MD website at http://www.wholehealthmd.com