I promised I'd pass on the way to use those discarded asparagus stems! This recipe is a combination of Boursin sauce and a fabulous dish I had at La Grotta. La Grotta cooks seasonal fresh Italian food, down to making their own pasta. I recieved a sampler and was pleasantly surprised at the use of asparagus in the linguine; this is a simple recipe that SEEMS much more complicated. Great for fooling anyone you want to impress! :]
1 (8 oz) package neufchatel cheese or low-fat cream cheese
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1/2c skim milk
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1/2tsp ground black pepper
1/3c grated asiago or other hard cheese
salt to taste
Heat all ingredients over medium-low heat until cheese melts and sauce begins to simmer. Remove from heat immediately.
1 box linguine (I like spinach linguine, but any kind works)
1 tbsp butter
~1 lb portobello mushrooms
1/2c finely chopped asparagus stems
Boil pasta and drain. You may use whole asparagus or just the stems, they should be chopped so finely that the fibrous texture is broken up. Heat the butter over medium in a skillet. Remove stems from portobellos and chop into as large or small pieces as you desire -- I prefer to chop them quite finely, but many people enjoy a "chunkier" dish. Saute the asparagus and mushrooms in the butter for 5-8 minutes and add to cheese sauce. Serve hot over linguine.