Ham & asparagus pasta

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
¾ pounds Fresh asparagus spears or one 10-oz. pkg. frozen asparagus
2 cans (14-1/2-oz.) stewed tomatoes cut up
1 tablespoon Dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon Dried basil, crushed
½ teaspoon Dried oregano, crushed
⅛ teaspoon Ground red pepper (optional)
1 cup Evaporated skim milk
\N \N 10-oz. multicolored pasta such as wagon wheel or corkscrew
6 ounces Lean fully cooked ham, cut into bite-size strips
1 small Red or green sweet pepper cut into strips
\N \N Grated Parmesan cheese (opt)

Snap off and discard the woody bases from the fresh asparagus, if using. Bias-slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. (Or thaw and drain the frozen asparagus.)

FOR SAUCE, in a medium saucepan combine stewed tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, and ground red pepper, if desired. Bring to boiling.

Simmer the sauce, uncovered, about 15 minutes or till reduced to 2-½ cups, stirring occasionally. Add the evaporated milk all at once, stirring constantly. Heat mixture through; do not boil.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions EXCEPT add the asparagus, ham and sweet pepper to the boiling water during the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and vegetables.

To serve, place pasta mixture on a serving plater. Spoon the sauce over the pasta. Serve with Parmesa cheese, if desired. Serve at once.

Makes 4 or 5 main-dish servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 465 calories, 4 g fat, 15 meg chol.

SOURCE: Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, March 1993

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