This is one of our favorite pasta meals. We actually prefer the heartier flavor of the whole grain penne. The asparagus is from Peru where it is springtime. We have also been getting some tasty blueberries from Peru lately. I know we should be trying to eat locally but I really enjoy them and the season here is not for another 6 months.
Back to the meal, I sautéed the mushrooms, onions, and garlic first. Then, when John put the penne into the boiling water, I added the cut-up asparagus stems and a little water to the sauté pan and covered it. With one and a half minutes left on the pasta I added the asparagus bud ends. John drained the pasta, emptied the penne into my sauté pan, and I finished the sauce with a little pasta water and a teaspoon of olive oil.
John garnished his plate with parmesan cheese, olive oil, and toasted pine nuts. I drizzled a little of our good olive oil on mine.