1 lb penne
1 bunch asparagus, tough parts discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Boil water for the pasta. Add salt to water.
2. While water is reaching a boil, heat the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is just becoming translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the fresh herbs. Add the flour and mix well. Cook until the raw flour smell is gone, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the milk slowly to the sauce base, mixing well and ensuring no lumps form. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk is heated through and the sauce begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper and crushed red pepper. Continue cooking until sauce has thickened. Add peas and remove from heat.
4. While the sauce is thickening, the water should have reached a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the pasta is not quite done. Add the asparagus and continue cooking until both asparagus and pasta are cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.
5. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to coat. Serve warm.