“Pasta Portofino”


Love certain dishes..

You know; the ones you just cook again and again for family and friends..

This is one of those..

Using a recipe with a few small tweaks, that I got from my Dad, I’ve been cooking this dish for about 20 years now..

It never gets old..


Pasta, butter, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, wine and au jus makes for a wonderful meal..

Then as with anything, the cooking is just the beginning..

Setting the table for guests is the next part and I just love it when a table looks as pretty as the meal you’re serving..

So try this wonderful dish out for yourself..

It won’t disappoint, I promise..

“Pasta Portofino”



1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1 pound Asparagus, cut into 2” inch pieces (I’ll use more when I want extra veggies, or mix green & white asparagus)

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned in oil (occasionally I’ve sautéed grape tomatoes separately in oil with a little seasoning & served them on the side when making this for guests who aren’t tomato fans)

4 Basil leaves, torn

1/4 cup white wine


3/4 cup of au jus (1 pkg. prepared powdered McCormick cooked down till thickened)

1/2 pound unsalted butter 

1/4 cup or more grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Sea salt & Pepper to taste

1 pound Penne Reggati, cooked al dente (reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid)

Fresh chopped Italian parsley


  1. Cut vegetables, prep and begin cooking down Au Jus gravy when using powdered mix (beef demi-glaze prepared using jarred demi-glaze or by making it homemade is even better—though using the powdered is simpler for the average home cook)

  2. Melt butter in a large sauté pan with high sides on medium/medium-hi heat, add garlic and cook till lightly brown. Be careful not to burn butter or garlic.

  3. Add tomatoes. Cook till butter turns frothy. (about 4 minutes)

  4. Add asparagus to the mix and sauté for 4 minutes.

  5. Add wine (I prefer a Sauvignon blanc) and Au Jus (or demi-glaze) and cook about 5 minutes.

  6. Add the torn basil, sea salt and black pepper.

  7. Remove from heat, add cheese and mix together.

  8. Toss with the cooked Penne pasta adding a tablespoon or two of reserved cooking liquid at a time if necessary to slightly thin out the mix to the desired consistency.

  9. Sprinkle with a garnish of fresh chopped Italian parsley.

  10. Serve with fresh cracked pepper and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on the side.