Recipe for Pasta with Asparagus,
adapted from Paola’s Pici con Asparagi
1 bunch (approx. 1 ¼ lbs. of fresh asparagus)
1 lemon, zested and juiced.
1 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese
(plus ½ cup to pass with the pasta)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
16 oz. Orecchiette, Gemelli or Pici pasta
Salt and Pepper
1. Take 6 or 7 stalks of asparagus, trim the ends and set them aside.
Cut the remainder of the asparagus into ½ inch pieces on the diagonal. Set aside.
Fill a large, heavy skillet with water. Salt the water generously.
Set the pan on high heat and bring it to a boil. Add the stalks of asparagus to the boiling water. Cook till tender, about 3 minutes.
Fish them out of the pan, leaving the water in the pan.
Put the asparagus into the bowl of a food processor with the
Metal blade in place. Add the lemon juice, the cheese, the butter and ¼ cup of asparagus water and process until the mixture is the consistency of soup. Add more water if necessary. Put the resulting sauce into a medium sized bowl.
Cook the pasta following the package instructions for timing.
(Orecchiette take 12 minutes). Three minutes before the pasta cooking time is up, add the asparagus pieces to the pasta. Cook pasta and asparagus together. This will up the asparagus flavor to the pasta. Set aside a half cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and the asparagus.
|My Orecchiette with Asparagus.
Paola’s Pici was better.
Add the pasta, asparagus and lemon zest to the bowl with the asparagus sauce and toss all the ingredients together. If the pasta sauce is to thick, add some of the pasta water. Salt and pepper the dish to taste. Serve at once passing the additional Reggiano Parmigiano cheese.