Penne with shrimp, asparagus, and sun-dried tomatoes

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Penne with shrimp, asparagus, and sun-dried tomatoes
Santa Teresa opened their facility's farmers' market on a sunny warm day last Friday with 12 vendors. According to their Physician-in-Chief, Raj Bhandari, the Pacific Coast Market Association did another great job in organizing it. The turnout was very good and they look forward to a successful weekly market. This week's recipe includes tips on stir-frying from a banker on Piedmont Avenue, close to the Oakland Medical Center. The asparagus, garlic and fresh basil can be found at Friday Fresh.


  • 1/2 cup drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, with 2 Tbsp oil reserved (a mixture of canola and olive oil – not bad)
  • 16 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, sliced diagonally into 1/2” pieces
  • 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (if using fresh shrimp, there is a very effective plastic tool available at kitchen stores that quickly shells and deveins shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed dried red chilis
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 oz penne pasta


Cook pasta. Two recently learned tips for stir-fry cooking are put to use when cooking shrimp. Any meat, chicken or fish is best sprinkled with corn starch before cooking. Also, while meat and chicken are stir-fried over high heat, shrimp is done over medium heat to avoid over-cooking. Sprinkle shrimp with cornstarch. Heat 1 Tbsp reserved sun-dried tomato oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry the shrimp until just opaque. Remove to a bowl. Add 1 more Tbsp oil. Over high heat, stir-fry the asparagus for 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup basil, oregano, crushed chilis, chicken broth, wine and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.