Ziti with Orange Asparagus Sauté
1 cup fresh orange juice at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound ziti
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, orange zest, and cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain. Transfer to a warm bowl and toss with a bit of the oil if the sauce is not ready.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or a wok over high heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and scallions and cook briefly until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Stir the orange juice mixture and add to the skillet. Quickly cook over high heat to boiling so that the sauce thickens slightly.
Add the pasta to the pan and toss well. Transfer to a large, warm serving bowl.