Orecchiette Pasta with Yellow Tomatoes, Asparagus & Italian Cheeses

YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends discarded
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large (about 1-1/2 lbs.) ripe yellow tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. crispy, dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. basil, in thin "ribbons" (chiffonade)
  • 1/2 lb. orecchiette (little ears) pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/3 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c. provolone or Asiago cheese, shredded


Cover asparagus with boiling water. Cover and let sit 3 minutes. Drain. Grill on lightly-oiled griddle or skillet over high heat until asparagus is al dente and somewhat browned. Set aside. When cool, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces.

Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and sauté until they are soft and give up juices. Add wine and chicken stock. Boil over high heat until reduced by about a fourth. Add asparagus pieces and basil; mix. Add freshly cooked pasta and stir to coat. Add cheeses and toss to melt. Serve immediately.