Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pasta with Potatoes and Asparagus

I went to Trader Joe’s today and saw the cutest teeny tiny potatoes that I just had to buy. I wasn’t even sure when I would have the time to cook with them since I had all my meals planned out for the next few days. Oh well, they were just too cute to resist so I bought them. The plan for dinner tonight was to make the steamed pork buns I sampled at TJ’s and also had to buy. Fortunately for me it was in the stars for me to use those potatoes and I forgot my original dinner idea in the freezer at work. What to make, what to make. I decided on Pasta and Potatoes. I know, double starch does not seem like a good idea but just stay with me a little longer. I never made this dish before but my friend Marie told me about it and raved about it but that was a long time ago. I didn’t have a recipe so I decided to wing it. I had a bunch of asparagus in my freezer and added that to it as well. What a yummy dish! I am definitely going to make this again!

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!

I’d like to give a special thanks to Marie’s mom, Angela, my second mom.  When I couldn’t get in touch with Marie (she was at her final wedding dress fitting!!!!) I called Angela and she confirmed that I was making this correctly.  I’m so lucky to always be surrounded by people who have a love of food and sharing recipes!  Speaking of sharing recipes, I better get to that!

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
Romano Cheese
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!


Delicious Dishings said...

This looks great! I love those teeny tiny potatoes. The ones I got at TJ's were actually called Teeny Tiny Potatoes -- were those the ones you got?

I haven't done it yet, but I've wanted to make a dish with pasta and potatoes for a while now. This looks like a fabulous one to start with.

Bec said...

The TJ's teeny tiny potatoes are awesome! I usually can't resist buying them, so now I'm glad I have a new way to use them. Thanks for the recipe!

Joe Ambrosino said...

Hi Michele,

I love those small potatoes too. they are irresistible!I can't remember now where I saw the recipe, but Italians do eat potatoes and pasta together. I've made the dish a few times similarly to yours and also with pesto.

Stacey Snacks said...

Good to see you back blogging again!
I love those baby potatoes at TJ's too.

Sue Inge said...

I just love those teeny potatoes too! But then again I never met a potato I didn't like!!! That recipe looks yummy!

Unknown said...

I never would've thought to add potatoes to pasta but it sounds yummy

YankeeSoaper said...

Real comfort food! I just love this dish--and, those darling little potatoes too ;). Nice to see you back.

Sydney said...

That looks seriously delicious. I love your blog.