April: a usually wonderful month of the year – flowers start reappearing from their winter sleep, chestnut stands slowly transform into ice cream stands along the lake, winter jackets can finally do what they do best (live in the attic), one can leave work in daylight and even go for a run before the sun sets. Technically so much to love – everyone seems to be in a happy mood now that the cold has passed. Or so we thought it had passed….. last weekend the warmth decided to take a leave of absence making way for some spring snow. How rude!
The snow did not stop me from embracing the supposed spring season – it is finally asparagus time again! A delicious unique vegetable which has the questionable side note of adding a peculiar smell to ones pee. We can count ourselves lucky that not all produce does that….. I wouldn’t want to know what aubergine urine could smell like…. or how about egg? Anyways, in keeping with the season with a hint of snow, I attempted a warming spring pasta dish using six ingredients: asparagus, cream, lemon, garlic, parmesan and, of course, pasta. Turned out yums – perfect for a mid week meal and freezable lunch!
Lemony Asparagus Cream Pasta
1 kg green asparagus
3 garlic cloves, peeled
250ml single cream
100g parmesan, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper, to taste
ca. 350g pasta, I used fusilli
- Start by trimming the asparagus: chop off the nasty looking bottoms. Slice into 3cm pieces, putting the tips and 1/3 of the stalk pieces aside. Boil the rest of the stalks in salted water for 4-5 mins, until soft.
- In a small pan, bring the cream and the garlic cloves to a boil. Take of the heat, discard two of the three cloves. Add your parmesan, lemon zest and asparagus stalks to the pan. Using a hand held blender, whizz these ingredients until you have a smooth creamy sauce. Season with salt & pepper.
- Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Add the set aside asparagus tips and remaining stalk pieces für the last 3 minutes. Drain the pasta.
- Slowly reheat your creamy sauce and mix in the pasta/asparagus stalks. Taste, season with salt, pepper and lemon if necessary and finally: indulge. Don’t forget to top with more parmesan cheese because, let’s face it, there can never be enough cheese in our lives.