Stuffed Rigatoni (with a nice cherry tomato cream sauce, fresh asparagus and pancetta)
Recipe courtesy of Joe Salimeni, Executive chef/manager Cotta-Bene Pizzeria and Restaurant, 291 3rd Ave., Brooklyn
8 oz. stuffed rigatoni
6 stalks of asparagus cut on a bias
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot diced small
1 12 oz. can of San Marzano cherry tomatoes
2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoons of grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup of cream
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
1 tea spoon of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley or basil
Begin by bringing two pots of water to a boil. In one you should blanch your asparagus that has been cut into 2 inch long bias cuts. Cook for no more than five minutes.
Once asparagus is cooked remove from water and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and reserve the nice green color.
Reserve second pot to cook your stuffed rigatoni. Now in a medium sauté pan heat 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil with your shallots and garlic. Continue to cook until golden brown. Add cherry tomatoes and crush with the back of a spoon. Bring to a boil and turn heat down a simmer. Add salt, crushed pepper and sugar to your taste. Add the 1/4 cup of cream and allow to simmer.
While sauce is simmering add your pasta to the boiling water and allow to cook for about eight minutes.
Once pasta is cooked strain and add to sauce along with your precooked asparagus and add the Romano cheese. Garnish with some fresh basil or flat leaf Italian parsley. Plate and serve.