As always when I try something new, I like to let you know what I would change if I were to make it again. I absolutely loved this dish. It's so affordable and versatile (add some bacon, prosciutto or pancetta or throw in a different veggie such as spinach or escarole, etc) and extremely tasty. I'm happy to say that there was only one minor thing I had an issue with - the size of the potatoes. I left the potatoes whole because they were so tiny but I think cutting them in half would have been a better idea. Cutting them would release more of the starch and thicken the sauce. It would also make it a little easier to eat (not that it would have been that difficult) because I like a little of everything on my fork or spoon. I realized this a little late in the game and cut them after the fact while in the pan but it all worked out just fine. No worries!
Pasta with Potatoes and Asparagus
Pasta Patate e Asparagi
1 pound small to medium pasta
1 pound potatoes, diced
4 small tomatoes (campari, plum, vine-ripened), diced
1 small onion, diced
5-8 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
About 8 leaves fresh basil
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds or quarters
Approx. 1 cup chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
Heat sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic. Saute garlic until lightly browned and then add the asparagus. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan add more oil, onions and garlic, sauté until onions are just about translucent. Add crushed red pepper and potatoes, let cook for about 5 minutes and allow them to get some color. Add tomatoes, basil and stir; add chicken broth (just enough to come up the sides of the potatoes not completely cover) and cover, let come to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Add more chicken broth if it gets too dry.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain pasta and save some cooking water. Toss with potatoes, add reserved asparagus, and add pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Top with grated romano cheese and serve!