Sexy Spring Pasta- with roasted asparagus & tomatoes

A simple and romantic roasted vegetable pasta dish for two using gluten-free pasta
Simple and romantic: pasta with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Today's recipe is a romantic, sexy spring pasta sauce with balsamic roasted asparagus and tomatoes. Because it's snowing. There's a foot of the white stuff. Ridiculous. Our morning appointment with our real estate broker was canceled. Oh, did I mention? We're putting our house on the market. Los Angeles beckons.

Aside from my husband's screenwriting momentum, these ole bones of mine (not to mention, my spare parts) are too creaky for winters with snow. Two years ago, when we planned our big move west, I was naive enough to imagine kinder temperatures. A January with no snow shovels. February afternoons sunny and warm enough to peel off your apple-green cardigan, roll up your sleeves, and drink in vitamin D old school style. Maybe south, in Las Cruces.

But not here north of Santa Fe. And so I find myself once again turning toward the new, welcoming change. Packing away family photos and books to simplify rooms and coax potential buyers into imagining their own conversations and meals and lovemaking in this space.

This space in the desert that has been my shelter- and my tabla rasa. Where I have shed old skins and birthed a new sense of self- in startling and unexpected ways. Interesting, isn't it? Living here has been so different than I imagined. Difficult, even. And yet. So good for me. It's been all about the process of change.

And lucky for me- I think change is sexy.

Sexy Spring Pasta Recipe (Roasted Asparagus-Tomato Sauce) 

Recipe posted March 2008.

Toss together this simple sauce in a roasting pan and crank the heat. Boil the pasta. Sip your vino and kiss your Sweetheart. When the pasta is ready, your sauce is done. This recipe is for two. Pasta tossed with love.


1/2 1-lb. package of gluten-free pasta (penne or spaghetti)
A fistful of thin, baby spring asparagus, trimmed, sliced diagonal
1 pint organic grape tomatoes, halved
1 leek, sliced thin
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, diced fine
2-4 good sized cloves of garlic, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons golden raisins (just do it)
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
A good pinch of hot red pepper flakes, to taste
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley, if desired


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Put some sultry jazz on.

Bring a large pot of fresh salted water to a rolling boil.

Meanwhile, throw all the sauce ingredients into a 10x13-inch baking pan and stir to coat. Place the pan in the oven, near the top.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, stirring every so often, until it is al dente-- not too soft, just right.

While the pasta is cooking, keep an eye on the sauce and stir it now and then. Do not overcook the asparagus - they are best tender-crisp.

Your kitchen will start to smell like a Tuscany vacation.

Drain the pasta and set aside.

Pull the roasting pan out of the oven.

Add the cooked pasta into the pan and toss gently to coat with olive oil.

Serve in warmed shallow bowls.

Cook time: 20 min

Yield: Serves 2

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axelfoley said...

So inspiring the way you embrace whatever rolls in. I'm a Los Angeles vegan who enjoys your site and writings so very much. Here's hoping LA provides a haven of balmy winter days (we're having 70 degree pre-spring right now) and a new space to fill with joy!

Kalyn said...

Woo Hoo,
I just cannot wait to have dinner with you guys in Venice. We can get Rand to cook for us both!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Beautiful photo of the Roasted Asparagus and Tomato! LA from Santa Fe, that will be a change.
I wish you well.
Thanks for stopping by my place!

heidi said...

Hi Karina,

I'd offer you a trade - your place for ours - but we live a bit north and a bit east of Santa Fe (Milwaukee). The thermometer says 12 degrees and my huskies are positively squirrelly with excitement. I dread the morning walk.

No matter where you are, Karina, I know that I and many others will continue to savor every delicious word you write. When I was a child and my grandmother was alive, cooking was an art form and food was meant to be divine. Flash forward to food allergies, and cooking became clinical and, worse, boring. Now, thanks to you and your lovely recipes, food is once again a gorgeous delight!

I wish you all the best in your transitioning.

Many thanks!


glutenfreeforgood said...

Wonderful photo of the ristras and the snow, but I love NM winters. I do understand though, there's been lots of snow and cold this season. Best wishes with this new chapter in your life and may you bask in sunshine!

Jean said...

Hi Karina,
I have been loving your recipes the past few weeks. My husband and I have been gluten free for just over a year but I have never found a website or any other source of gluten-free recipes that have been worth my while - until yours - thanks!

This recipe sounds yum - one question - how might I add some protein to it? We are not vegetarians so anything will work.

Little Legs

PS I hear ya with the cold weather. We are NY-natives who have lived in San Diego for 18 months and are never going back!

Cakespy said...

My goodness, that does look sexy indeed! It puts me in that springy mood, now that I just saw some daffodils in Seattle and believe it might actually happen soon. ;-)

Gluti Girl said...

Ok, will you adopt me? I know, I'm to old to be a child, but perhaps a sister? Just kidding:)

We spend two week a year in northern San Diego county each year and I keep trying to get my husband to just leave me there and visit every year, but I can't talk him into that!

I am so weary of winter and if we had the chance to move I would love it! Congratulations! It's going to be an exciting adventure! I can't wait to hear about it.

LisaL said...

Oh good luck with your move! I hope your site does not go on vacation too long with the transition. I can't go too long without a new recipe infusion!

I've lived in quite a few places myself; Boston, Providence, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles and now Seattle. My husband and I are permanently settling in Seattle (so we claim). Temp ranges from sbout 40-75 degrees a year, beautiful. The world is taken over by emerald green here, which is very fun (especially if you have seasonal allergies, LOL).

Los Angeles was one of my favorite places... A warm melting pot of friendly people trying to rush through their daily grind and enjoy the last golden rays of the day. The smog and traffic is something to behold (see: windshield cleaning every other day) but the weather makes it all worth it. Are you looking at the burbs or the city? The real estate crash has the burbs at an all time low, perfect timing to find a sweet deal!

Best of luck selling, buying and moving. I'm sure Los Angeles will inspire many more creative recipes.

Jess said...

Wow, more changes. Good for you for embracing it all so well. Seems you a a gluten-free goddess and a change one as well!
Congrats and food luck with the move and thanks for posting the yummy recipe. How I miss fresh asparagus, can't wait for spring to be in full bloom...

Simply...Gluten-free said...

My mouth is literally watering just looking this photo!

Jean said...

Hi Karina,

Just wanted to let you know - my husband and I made this last night with some interesting alterations....garlic stuffed organic green olives instead of capers; we added sliced chicken sausage to the sauce; and sprinkled some feta on top. Yum! A really great dish. Oh - don't ever try it with frozen asparagus. It never quite got crispy.
Thanks again!

Little Legs

DreamDoc said...

You are truly a goddess! I made this recipe tonight for my husband (including the all-important recipe suggestions of a glass of wine and a kiss from my sweetie) and we LOVED it! A 10/10. Thank you.

Laura in New Jersey
P.S. We were in Santa Fe two years ago and miss it badly.

Maggie said...

I'm so glad I saw this today! I have asparagus and the first decent tomatoes in months and people coming over tomorrow for lunch. I'm going to try the same ingredients without pasta at room temperature as a salad. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Jerry said...

Yummy! Love asparagus!

Marc @ norecipes said...

Mmmmm looks fresh and delicious. I can't wait till tomatoes are in season!

At Home with Kim Vallee said...

I love asparagus and capers. This recipe sounds great. I particularly enjoyed the way you spiced up your instructions.

Corrie said...

This recipe is so yummy! Every time we make it for someone, they think so too!

moonwatcher said...

Hi Karina,

I just tried this last night and it was fabulous, even with the little dab of olive oil I am allowed! Thanks! I used some frozen tomatoes from last year's garden and some raisins from my neighbor's grapes. Just wonderful. And you are right, it smells so good while cooking. I will definitely make this again!

I used to live in Southern California. My son was born there. It can be a hauntingly beautiful place, especially near the ocean. I hope everything falls into place for you to get there. . .


moonwatcher said...

just wanted to add this dish is even heavenly as leftovers!!

thanks again--


Christa Richardson said...

Oh, this looks gorgeous. No, sexy. You are right, it's sexy! I am making for someone I know likes 'sauce'. I made her my lentil/kale/roasted garlic/parm GF pasta and she wanted more sauce. I'm wondering if a bit of white wine and plain almond mild might work with the capers, etc? I would love anyone's thoughts. I prefer it as is, so I want to keep the flavors as much as possible. Thanks!

Karina Allrich said...

Christa, if your someone likes more "sauce" I'd add some crushed tomatoes (I love those Italian crushed tomatoes in a jar), more basil, splash of wine. Taste test- if too acidic, add a dab of agave or a teaspoon of sugar. xox Karina

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