Asparagus and Pasta Torta

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Here's a colorful, classic Tuscan savory pie that's so rich not even a Sicilian cop from Staten Island will care that it's meatless. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be able to cook it without hurting himself — but you can. It's an interesting use of pasta, too; it holds everything together.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. linguine
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, chopped into half-inch lengths
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 4 green onions (scallions), trimmed and chopped into half-inch lengths
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 C. heavy cream
  • 1 C. grated Parmesan cheese

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Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about three quarters the recommended time for "al dente" — you want it tender, but not finished. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper and stir. Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Crack eggs into a large bowl. Whisk in the cream and cheese. Add the cooked pasta and vegetables and stir to mix. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 10x8" baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, until the top is slightly springy when pressed. Cut the torta into squares, and serve.

Yield: 8 servings

From: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" episode 108

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