For years Mary Ann Esposito has been inspiring us with her Italian creations. There is really no greater convience food than pasta to me, it is the ultimate pantry staple, seriously. Here Mary Ann has combined this dish with fresh asparagus , but I have used fresh or frozen artichokes too, feel free to substitute pistachios for pine nuts or any nut of your choice.
1/3 cup pistachio nuts , toasted
1 lb thin asparagus , cut into thirds, sauted in 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic , peeled and halved lenthwise
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 lb penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano -Reggiano
Saute garlic in butter in a saute pan over medium heat, when the edges start to brown , remove and discard garlic.
Add the Asparagus and pepper. Increase heat to high and pour in the wine , stirring for about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium.
Pour the half and half and cream over Asparagus mixture and simmer about 2 minutes. season with salt; Keep warm while boiling the pasta.
Prepare penne according to package directions; drain and return to the pot. Combine Asparagus sauce with pasta, stirring over low heat. Add cheese, stirring until it melts; transfer to a platter.
Garnish with pistachio nuts and serve immediately.