This recipe goes out to all the mummies and home cooks out there who say ‘enough with the macaroni cheese, stop asking me to make it every night….. I am a serious cook who needs some variety and I am over macaroni cheese. I know you all love it but I need a break’. Now I know I’m not the only one who gets a little sick and tired of the same dinner request and just this morning Keira asked for macaroni cheese for dinner.
And since my Thermomix is back from the Thermomix hospital there was no better time to try something a little different. Now a word about the Thermomix. I am often asked on Facebook what I think of it for large families. And I think it’s perfect. People often look at the bowl and think well that’s not going to feed my family. Now I’ll admit my guys are all little and don’t have big appetites – except for finn- so cooking any pasta or risotto dish in the thermomix always means leftovers.
But a large family with big eaters can easily do everything in the Thermomix. Sauces, steaming, pasta dishes, cookie and bread dough, cake batter and more. In fact you’ll find it more economical because you are making things from scratch. If you wanted to cook your pasta in the sauce like some of the pasta dishes are then you might want to do 2 batches but I do 2 adult serves and 4 childrens serves from 1 batch of pasta dishes in the Thermomix and have leftovers.
Anyway why I went off on that tangent is because for this recipe I did the sauce in the Thermomix and the pasta on the stove. Which is what I do when I want a cook a large quantity or don’t want to cook the pasta in the bowl. Whole dish is done in 20 minutes. This dish serves 4 adults and you can easily double the sauce quantities to serve more people
- 2 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 400g penne pasta
- 1 bunch asparagus (woody part removed, rest cut into pieces)
- ½ punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 4 heaped Tbsp light sour cream
- 1Tbsp french mustard (I like a grainy mustard)
- salt, pepper to season
- 3 - 4 Tbsp pinenuts
- Boil water and cook your pasta until al dente
- Meanwhile peel shallots and garlic cloves and pop in your TM bowl. Process on speed 5 for 5 seconds. I actually used 3 garlic cloves but I love garlic
- add in olive oil and saute for 2 mins, 90 degrees, speed 3.
- add in asparagus and cook for 2 mins, 90 degrees, speed soft and reverse. If you like your cherry tomatoes to be cooked then put in at this time with the asparagus.
- Add in sour cream and mustard and stir for 30 seconds, speed soft and reverse.
- In a frypan toss in the pinenuts and shake around a few times over a medium heat. Never turn your back on them but in a minute or two you will have some toasted pinenuts with a lovely bit of colour.
- Drain pasta and tip in sauce, season really well and serve with pinenuts over the top.
- This is also delicious cold. If you don't like cooked tomatoes just add them to the pasta and asparagus sauce as you are combining the two. I love hot cooked tomatoes but not everyone does.
- If you don't have a Thermomix, chop and saute your shallot and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add in asparagus and saute for a minute or so. Add in the tomatoes now or later. Remove from heat. Add in sour cream and mustard. Season well and combine with cooked pasta and top with pinenuts.