By Mayo Clinic Staff

Dietitian's tip:

When you use fat, try to choose monounsaturated sources such as olive oil. If used in place of other fats, monounsaturated fat can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing your blood cholesterol level.

Number of servings

Serves 2


  1. 6 asparagus spears
  2. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  3. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  4. 4 ounces dried whole-grain vermicelli
  5. 1 medium tomato, chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  8. 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste


Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil to a skillet. Saute asparagus over medium-high heat until lightly browned and tender-crisp. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

Put the pasta to a large bowl. Drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over the pasta and toss gently. Add the tomato, garlic, basil, asparagus, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Toss to mix evenly.

Divide the pasta between individual plates. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and black pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :About 1 cup pasta with vegetable topping

  • Total carbohydrate 48 g
  • Dietary fiber 8 g
  • Sodium 158 mg
  • Saturated fat 2 g
  • Total fat 9 g
  • Cholesterol 9 mg
  • Protein 13 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 4 g
  • Calories 325
Oct. 01, 2011