10 to 12 ounces pasta, any short shape
1 pound fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces fresh arugula leaves, rinsed
1/4 cup oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, plus a little of their liquid
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, trim the woody ends from the asparagus spears and scrape any tough skin with a vegetable peeler. Fresh slender spring asparagus usually needs no scraping. Cut the spears into 1 to 2-inch long pieces and set aside.
Heat the oil in a small skillet and add the garlic. Saute over low heat for a minute or two or until golden. Add the asparagus and a small amount of water. Cover and steam until the asparagus is done to your liking but still bright green. Add the arugula, cover, and steam very briefly (less than a minute will do), just until the arugula wilts down slightly.
Combine the pasta, asparagus arugula mixture, and dried tomatoes in a serving bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.