I have also realized that I should really incorporate red pepper flakes more often.
1 lb penne
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 cup cremini mushrooms
splash red wine
1/2 cup homemade vegetable broth
1/2 pound asparagus, thinly bias sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp toasted pecans
2 Tbsp shredded basil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. Bring large, salted pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and red pepper flakes and sautée for a few moments while stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms, wine, salt, and pepper, and continue to sautée until the mushrooms are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until for about 7-8 minutes, until just al dente.
3. Add the broth and asparagus to the sautée pan and cook, stirring gently, for a further 5 minutes. Then pour in the cream, reducing the heat to low to prevent scorching. Add the basil, butter, pecans, and cheese to the pan and stir well.
4. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the mushrooms, asparagus, and sauce. Cook for an additional three minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit for about two minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit. Finally, stir once more, then serve with a little extra cheese sprinkled on top.