AKA “The Old Standby”
This recipe is an old family recipe which my father calls ‘Klodt family comfort food’. Whenever one of us is having a tough day, this is what we crave for dinner. It’s easy to make, requires only one pot, and contains all of the basic food groups. In fact, double this recipe (make sure you have a large enough bowl) and invite some friends to share. Make sure to use penne, ziti or some other short, tube-like pasta. Spaghetti pasta just isn’t the same. Makes 4 servings.
- 1 pound dried penne or ziti pasta
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons of butter (or olive/canola oil)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced fine
- 2 cups smoked mozzarella cheese (about 12oz), diced
- 9 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil (dried basil won’t have enough flavor)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Flake Salt to taste
- Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water, and cook until the pasta is tender (but still al dente) and the asparagus is crisply tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and asparagus – reserving about 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- After draining, put the pot back on the stove. Over a medium flame, heat the oil. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the pasta, asparagus, 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper, and 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, and toss to coat everything.
- Remove from the heat. Add the mozzarella, prosciutto and basil. Toss to combine.
- Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve.