Monday, 21 November 2011

Lemon, Asparagus & Parmesan Pasta


Last week, I had a huge craving for a lemon based pasta dish. Typically more synonymous with summer than winter, I enjoy making this Lemon, Asparagus and Parmesan Pasta which is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe lots during the spring and summer time, especially during the Asparagus season.

This is a dish I would typically cook for just hubby and myself as the kids don't tend to like to lemon flavouring of the pasta. We love it however and so hubby was suitably excited when I presented this on the table last week. 

Sometimes it's fun to make dishes out of season don't you think!!



Ingredients
500g Fresh Tagliatelle
150g Fresh Asparagus, chopped
2 Lemons, Zest and Juice
2 Egg Yolks
150g Parmesan
A Bunch of Fresh Basil
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

Method
  1. Boil a kettle and pour the contents into a large saucepan and a smaller saucepan, both heated over a medium heat
  2. Separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a bowl. Add the Olive Oil and salt and pepper and mix.
  3. Grate the parmesan and add 100g to the egg mixture, along with the lemon zest and juice. Mix together well.
  4. Split the bunch of basil in two and reserve one for later. Next, take a few leaves from one bunch and save for later then pound the rest of the bunch in a pestle and mortar to make a green paste, then roughly chop the other half. Add both types of the basil to the bowl and mix all of the ingredients together well.
  5. Place the asparagus into the smaller saucepan, season well and cook for around 5 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the tagliatelle to the larger saucepan and add a splash of olive oil and a dash of salt. Stir and then cover with a lid and cook for between 3 and 5 minutes until cooked.
  7. Drain the Asparagus and add to the lemon sauce.
  8. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.  Place the egg mixture in a large serving bowl, add the pasta and then toss the sauce and pasta together. Add the cooking water a tablespoon at a time to bind the ingredients together and make the mixture slightly more velvety. You will typically need 2 to 3 tbsp of water. 
  9. Taste the mixture and if needed, add more salt oparmesan to balance the lemon juice. Once happy, sprinkle the remaining parmesan and Basil over the top to decorate and serve immediately.
                                    
Note: If you are staunch vegetarian you could substitute the Parmesan for a vegetarian cheese alternative.

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