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Penne with Asparagus


2 Tbs (1/4 stick) butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 lbs asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28 ounce can Italian style tomatoes
2 tsps dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
3/4 lb penne, freshly cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and saute 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer aspragus to bowl. Add onions and garlic to saucepan and saute until light golden, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, oregano and crushed red pepper. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon and stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Return asparagus to sauce. Cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add penne and 1/2 cup cheese. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

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