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Ultragrain® Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta

 

Are you looking for a pasta dish that tastes so good it’ll knock your socks off?  Then get ready, because Ultragrain® Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta is one of my all-time favorite summer pasta dinners. It’s a one-dish (one-skillet) wonder that’s packed with amazing flavors like, fresh lemon, crisp asparagus, earthy shiitake mushrooms and salty pancetta.  With a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and pinch of snipped chives on top, this dish will make your heart (and stomach) sing.   And guess what?  Because this recipe begins with Hodgson Mill Ultragrain Penne with Quinoa, it’s also good for you.  Hodgson Mill Ultragrain pasta is made with 100% whole wheat flour that offers whole grain nutrition with the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional white flour pasta.  It also includes quinoa; a whole grain high in protein, antioxidants and vitamin E, so each serving is filled with health benefits galore.  I told you this pasta dish was fantastic – let’s get cooking!

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the penne for 8 to 9 minutes or until al dente.  While the pasta is cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl.   

As soon as the pasta is finished cooking, reserve two cups of the water, drain the pasta and put it back into the hot pot.  Pour the lemon/olive oil mixture over the top and gently toss together until the pasta is evenly coated.  Set the reserved water aside.

Next, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta, turning as necessary, until it’s crisp and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Set it aside and try not to eat it all as you put the rest of the meal together. 

Reserve the pancetta drippings in the pan.

 

Clean, stem and slice the shiitake mushrooms into ½-inch thick pieces. 

Add the shiitakes to the skillet with the pancetta drippings and cook over medium-high heat until browned and softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant and heated through. 

Transfer the shiitake mixture to the pot with the lemon noodles and set aside. 

Next, using the same skillet, add one cup of the reserved pasta water and bring it to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. 

Transfer the asparagus and any leftover liquid in the skillet to the pasta pot along with the Parmesan cheese, chives and salt.  Toss to combine, adding more reserved pasta water as necessary to moisten the mixture – about ¼ cup did the trick for me. 

Serve the pasta immediately with a generous amount of pancetta crumbled over the top and additional Parmesan cheese to taste. 

Ultragrain Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta is a simple dish that shows how just a few high-quality ingredients can easily become an outstanding meal.  I love how the Ultragrain Penne with Quinoa soak up the bright, fresh lemon flavor, and you can’t beat the healthy whole grain nutrition included in each serving. Asparagus (one of my favorite pasta add-ins), shiitake mushrooms and pancetta contribute a delicious range of flavors to this dish and round things out perfectly.  Add Ultragrain Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta to your must make dinner list.  It’s one of my family’s favorite summer pasta dinners and hopefully will be one of yours, too.  Enjoy! 

Ultragrain® Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Hodgson Mill Ultragrain® Penne with Quinoa
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
  • 4 oz. pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed & cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chives, snipped
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne for 8 to 9 minutes or until al dente.  While the pasta is cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl.   As soon as the pasta is finished cooking, reserve two cups of the water, drain the pasta and put it back into the hot pot.  Pour the lemon/olive oil mixture over the top and gently toss together until the pasta is evenly coated.  Set the reserved water aside. Next, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta, turning as necessary, until crisp and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Add the shiitakes to the skillet with the pancetta drippings and cook over medium-high heat until browned and softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant and heated through.  Transfer the shiitake mixture to the pot with the lemon noodles and set aside.  Next, add one cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Transfer the asparagus and any leftover liquid in the skillet to the pasta pot along with the Parmesan cheese, chives and salt.  Gently toss the contents of the pot together, adding more reserved pasta water as necessary to moisten the mixture. Serve pasta immediately with a generous amount of pancetta crumbled over the top and additional Parmesan cheese to taste. 

Servings

Makes 6 servings

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine

You can find Ultragrain® Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.


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Author: Holly






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