I love springtime pasta dishes loaded with vegetables. This version was creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. Chopping the asparagus so that it could be completely incorporated throughout the pasta was genius.
This recipe was adapted from Ruth Rogers of River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant cookbook, via Food 52. I modified the proportions to use one pound of pasta. I also left the asparagus tips intact. Amazing!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 2 1/4 pounds thin asparagus spears
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, oregano)
- 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 14 to 16 ounces taglierini, tagliatelle, or pappardelle pasta
- 5 to 6 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Cut into 1-inch pieces; reserve tips in a separate bowl.
- Finely chop the 1-inch pieces of asparagus all together with 2 of the garlic cloves and the herbs in a food processor. (I chopped the garlic and herbs first and then added the asparagus.)
- Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan with the remaining 4 whole garlic cloves and simmer until the cloves are soft. Remove from the heat; discard the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a separate large pan and sauté half of the chopped asparagus for 5 minutes, stirring. (I used a 14-inch skillet.)
- Add the rest of the chopped asparagus-herb mixture and the reserved asparagus tips, followed by the flavored cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the cream begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly.
- Add to the sauce along with about half of the Parmesan and toss together.
- Serve with the remaining Parmesan.
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