Asparagus with Lemon Herb Pasta
White asparagus is loved in Europe for its delicate flavour and tender flesh. If white asparagus is unavailable, substitute luscious thick green spears.
- 375g linguine or spaghetti
- 400g (about 10 spears) white or green asparagus, woody ends trimmed off
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 50g (1/3 cup) pine nuts
- 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup torn flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Shredded parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
- Get pasta cooking while you prepare remaining ingredients. Heat a large pot with 4 litres boiling water. When hot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook pasta according to packet instructions. As soon as ‘al dente’ (soft to the tooth), drain pasta well and set aside to use later.
- To prepare white asparagus, use a vegetable peeler or small paring knife to carefully peel about 10cm from base up each spear to remove outer tough layer only. If using green asparagus, there is no need to peel it first. Cut asparagus into 2-3cm lengths.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large frying pan and stir fry pine nuts until golden, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining oil to pan and cook asparagus over a medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until asparagus is tender yet still crisp, 4-5 minutes.
- Add pasta and remaining ingredients to pan. Toss together with 2 spoons until warmed through.
- Serve with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.
Recipe produced by culinary consultant Janet Lillie for Motta Produce.