3/4 lb fresh asparagus spears or one 10-o; z. pkg. frozen asparagus
2 can (14-1/2-oz.) stewed tomatoes cut u; p
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 10-oz. multicolored pasta such as; wagon wheel or corkscrew
6 oz lean fully cooked ham, cut into bi; te-size strips
1 small red or green sweet pepper cut into; strips
1 grated parmesan cheese (opt)
Snap off and discard the woody bases from the fresh asparagus, if using. Bias-slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. (Or thaw and drain the frozen asparagus.)
FOR SAUCE, in a medium saucepan combine stewed tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, and ground red pepper, if desired. Bring to boiling. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, about 15 minutes or till reduced to 2-1/2 cups, stirring occasionally. Add the evaporated milk all at once, stirring constantly. Heat mixture through; do not boil.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions EXCEPT add the asparagus, ham and sweet pepper to the boiling water during the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and vegetables.
To serve, place pasta mixture on a serving plater. Spoon the sauce over the pasta. Serve with Parmesa cheese, if desired. Serve at once.
Makes 4 or 5 main-dish servings.
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