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Growing up, there were two ways of eating asparagus in my family. You either ate it straight out of a can or you boiled the spears till they turned bright green and then dunked them into a bowl full of Miracle Whip. Luckily, things have changed.
These days, I particularly love roasting asparagus to enhance its natural flavor. In this dish, I toss cut asparagus spears in some oil and salt, pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes, and then flavor with a bit of lemon zest and juice.
The asparagus retains some of its crunch, but becomes tender and juicy. Pair the asparagus with pasta, like in this recipe, or serve it as a side dish with fish or chicken.
Roasted Asparagus with Pasta
½ pound dry pasta (penne or ziti)
1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Yield: 2 generous servings
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
3. Wash the asparagus and trim an inch or so off the ends. Cut the spears into thirds. Transfer the asparagus to medium bowl and toss with olive oil and salt, to taste.
4. Spread the asparagus onto two rimmed sheet trays and roast in the oven until the pieces turn bright green and start to brown, about 10 to 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
5. Using a rasp, zest the lemon over the asparagus. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the cut spears.
6. Drain the pasta. Serve with the asparagus on top with shaved or shredded parmesan cheese.