Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Steak, Asparagus & Chimichurri Pasta

Ever dress your skirt steaks with a dollop of Chimichurri? If you’ve never had it, you’re definitely missing out. Chimichurri is a steak condiment originally from Argentina and made from parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. It’s rich and herbal, tangy and a little spicy. It’s the perfect accompaniment for grilled beef.

Since Chimichurri also resembles pesto, I figured it would make a great pasta sauce. And I was right. I grilled a skirt steak and some asparagus and tossed them with Rigatoni and a fresh batch of Chimichurri. I loved the grilled flavors with the pasta and garlicky sauce.

This is the perfect meal to eat outdoors when the weather is nice and you have a big frosty beer or chilly glass of wine. Is it the weekend yet?

Steak, Asparagus & Chimichurri Pasta
Serves 4 to 6

For the chimichurri:
3 cloves garlic
2 cups Italian parsley, loosely packed
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. Rigatoni
1 lb. skirt steak
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. thick asparagus, tough ends removed

For the Chimichurri: Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until all large pieces of parsley and garlic are gone. If you don’t have a blender, chop the garlic and parsley finely, then whisk with the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Heat your grill to medium-high and sprinkle the steak with 1 tsp. salt. Once the grill is hot, place the steak and asparagus on it. Turn the asparagus often, ensuring it doesn’t burn. Remove it when it’s tender, but still crisp (time depends on how thick your asparagus is, about 5 – 8 minutes). Cook the steak to your desired done-ness, then remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces and cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

While you’re grilling, set a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, salt it thoroughly and add the rigatoni. Cook until al dente, then drain and return to pot.

Toss the pasta with half the amount of Chimichurri until well coated. Toss in the steak and asparagus and serve.

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