Shawna Leader/The AS Review

One of the best things about cooking is having the ability to change the recipe you’re given. While there are merits to following recipes, especially as a beginner, cooking is a way to exercise some creative energy in the kitchen. This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, had quite a few more steps and didn’t have cheese or pesto in the ingredients list (I know. What were they thinking?). Using the basic ingredients, I cut some time from the recipe with no loss of flavor or the essential elements of the dish. And I added a few of my favorite ingredients so that in the end, it was my idea of the perfect pasta dish.

What you need:
2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms; 1 lb fresh asparagus, sliced; 1 small onion, coarsely chopped; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, minced; ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes; 2 cups cherry tomatoes; ½ lb pasta (any will work; I used linguine); 1 container prepared pesto; mozzarella, cubed

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss mushrooms, asparagus, onion, oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a deep baking dish. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms and onions begin to turn brown, stirring halfway through.
2. Add tomatoes to the dish and roast seven to 10 additional minutes. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
3. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions.
4. Add pasta to vegetables and stir to combine. Stir in pesto and mozzarella cubes.

COOKING ON A COLLEGE BUDGET RECIPE-OFF!

We share our favorite recipe with you every week, but now we want yours! Send us your best recipe and we’ll pick the two most original entries to reproduce in the Cooking on a College Budget kitchen. The recipe that tastes the best will be published and the winner will receive a delectable dessert made by the Cooking on a College Budget columnists.
Submissions can be dropped off at the AS Review office in VU 411 or e-mailed to as.review@wwu.edu. Submissions are due by Monday, April 5.