Cherry tomato and asparagus pasta

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Cherry tomato and asparagus pasta

Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to talk to many audiences. I usually follow my presentation on food, health, and sustainable food systems with a cooking demonstration. When the 45 minutes or an hour is over,  someone often says "the only thing I am going to remember is the cherry tomato trick." 

Oh well. At least it is a really good and functional trick. It will help making preparation of this pasta sauce quick and easy. Cherry tomatoes are just coming in to many farmers markets and asparagus is still there. This pasta marks the transition of spring into real summer.

Servings: 2


  • 6 ounces farro or other whole grain linguine
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved with the cherry tomato trick
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tweaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 8 asparagus spears, woody end broken off, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup each chopped fresh oregano, basil, and mint
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.  
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes by covering a container lid then holding a second inverted lid gently but firmly on top.  
  3. Cut between the two lids with a sharp chef's knife.  If you have never done this before you will be amazed and impress your family and friends.  
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  
  5. Add the tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes.  
  6. Add the garlic and crushed chilies and simmer another minute.  
  7. Add the wine and asparagus.  
  8. Simmer for about five minutes until the asparagus is crunchy tender.  
  9. Mix in the chopped herbs.  
  10. Season to taste. 
  11. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain, then toss with the sauce.  
  12. Garnish with the whole leaves of the herbs. Great with salad and a loaf of crusty bread.