Penne with Asparagus, Ham, and Basil

Total Time
27 min
7 min
20 min
If you happen to have an herb garden — in a window box or outdoors — snip a handful of your favorite blend of herbs and toss into the skillet in step 3.


uncooked whole wheat pasta

8 oz, penne variety (2 cups)

olive oil

2 tsp

fresh tomato(es)

1 large, coarsely chopped

garlic clove(s)

3 medium clove(s), thinly sliced

red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

uncooked asparagus

1 pound(s), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths

reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup(s)

lemon juice canned or bottled

1 Tbsp

lean ham

½ pound(s), cut into bite-size pieces


¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped

grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp


  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, broth, and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes longer.
  3. Add the pasta, ham, basil, and Parmesan to the skillet; toss to combine. Yields about 13/4 cups per serving.

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