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With the arrival of spring comes some of the season's best new produce, the first shoots of asparagus being just one of our favourites.
If you want to turn those tender spring time stems into a fast, tasty and sophisticated dish try some Italian inspiration with an asparagus pasta recipe.
By combining the sweetest tips of finely sliced green and white asparagus with tagliolini (a long pasta similar to tagliatelle only cylindrical and thinner) with a zesty dash of lemon and some creamy ricotta, this tasty vegetarian dish will soon become a firm family favourite. Find out how to make this stunning mid week dish below:
Asparagus pasta recipe
Tagliolini pasta - 400 g
Asparagus - 400 g - half green, half white
Parmesan - 80 g
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice -1 tablespoon
Vegetable broth - 75g
Freshly ground pepper
Finely chopped fresh parsley - 2 tablespoons
Creme fraiche - 2 tablespoons
How to make Asparagus Pasta:
1. Wash the asparagus well under running cold water.
2. Peel the white asparagus, and green, if the stems are not sufficiently tender, and cut away the woody part of the stem (about 1-2 cm).
3. Cut the asparagus into pieces of about 5 cm lengths, then slice them very thinly lengthways.
4. Cook the pasta until al dente. (learn how to cook pasta here.)
5. Heat the butter in a large pan and sauté the asparagus for a few seconds.
6. Add lemon juice and vegetable stock, then season with salt and pepper.
7. Cover and cook over a slow flame for about 5 minutes.
8. Add the creme fraiche, stirring, then season with salt and pepper.
9. Drain the pasta, add it to the pan and season with the asparagus. Season with parsley, stirring well.
10.Heat for a moment on high heat, then put the pasta into the dishes.
11. Serve the tagliolini with the asparagus and a good sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan on top.