Baby Pasta Shells with Asparagus and Marinara Sauce is a quick and easy 4-ingredient pasta dish, perfect for Spring. Ready in under 15 minutes and under ten dollars to make.
Yield: 4 servings
4.67 from 3 votes

Baby Pasta Shells with Asparagus and Marinara Sauce

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
A light Spring pasta dish the whole family will enjoy; baby shells are tossed with chopped asparagus and a light marinara sauce. Quick and easy, perfect for vegetarians or meatless Fridays.


  • 8 ouncea baby pasta shells (or small gluten free pasta)
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus (tough ends removed)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick marinara sauce (or jarred)
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste


  • Boil about 4 inches of water in a large pot, when boiling add asparagus and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender crisp.
  • Drain and chop into small bite sized pieces.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (you can use the same pot from the asparagus not to dirty too many dishes). Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan heat 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce.
  • Drain pasta and RESERVE a cup of the pasta water.
  • Return pasta back to the pot and toss with marinara, asparagus, grated cheese, salt and pepper and a 1/4 cup of the pasta water or as needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Divide between four bowls and top with fresh pepper and more grated cheese if desired.


Serving: 11/4 cups, Calories: 283kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 3.5g, Fiber: 4g
Blue Smart Points: 9
Green Smart Points: 9
Purple Smart Points: 9
Points +: 7