Pistachio and Asparagus Penne

Catherine Fulvio serves up pasta with some highly nutriious pistachios.


  • olive oil, extra virgin
  • 100 g pancetta
  • 70 g breadcrumbs
  • 350 g asparagus (cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 450 g penne pasta
  • salt
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp thyme (chopped)
  • 40 g olives (pitted and halved)
  • 100 g pistachio (chopped)
  • 300 ml double cream


  1. Heat about 2tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the breadcrumbs until brown. Drain them on kitchen towel and set them aside.
  2. Blanch the asparagus, drain it and refresh it in ice cold water to retain the colour.
  3. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the package. Add a little oil into a frying pan, cook the pancetta, pepper and thyme for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the asparagus and cook over a high heat for two minutes. Add in the cream and warm through. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Sprinkle with the olives and chopped pistachio and breadcrumbs check for seasoning and serve immediately.


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