Makeover Rigatoni with Bacon and Asparagus
1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
8 bacon strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, bring 2 cups water to a boil.
Add asparagus; cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water.
Drain and pat dry.
In the same pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. (I baked mine in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. No splattering and it cooks to perfection )
Crumble bacon and set aside. Saute garlic in butter and oil until tender. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Stir in mozzarella cheese until melted. Drain pasta; add to pan. Stir in the salt, asparagus, parsley and reserved bacon. Sprinkle with pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Yield: 8 servings.