4tbsp olive oil
1 bulb Spring garlic or 3 cloves of regular garlic, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, green and white ends, chopped
200g long pasta
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends trimmed and the remainder cut into thirds (about 4cm long each)
2tbsp mint leaves, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested
35g pecorino or parmesan cheese
Salt and pep
The spring sun is (finally) coming out, and with it comes lighter meals and simpler flavours – this pasta is precisely that. Its delicate and silky profile is the perfect environment for mingling asparagus and mint. We’re loathed to call it a ’20 minute meal’, but we doubt it would take any longer, especially if you boil the pasta water in the kettle first!
Springy Asparagus Pasta
Warm olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium low heat. Add the sliced garlic and spring onions, season with salt and plenty of pepper and let them cook gently for 5-7 minutes or so until they start to soften (you don’t want browning here, just soft translucency).
Pop your pasta on to cook. While your pasta is cooking add the asparagus to the spring onions and garlic, cover with a lid and continue cooking over a moderate heat, with the occasional stir.
Drain the pasta as soon as it is tender but firm (usually about 7 minutes) keeping back around 50ml of the pasta’s cooking water.
Stir the pasta into the asparagus mixture, add the grated pecorino or parmesan followed by the cooking water, lemon zest and mint. Stir until the sauce is emulsified and the pasta is cooked.
Divide between 2 plates, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon – simply yum!
Hints and Tips
Recipe by Nigel Slater