Thursday, March 31, 2011

Awesome Asparagus Pasta

We visited the Amish markets in Gloucester, NJ this past weekend, and as we were driving past the farmland, I kept hoping to see the brazen stalks of asparagus boldly poking straight up through the newly tilled soil, the vegetable harbingers of spring.  I thought I saw them, but I couldn't be sure...Then, I looked for them in the Amish markets, and there were a few, but doesn't look like they are up yet.  I am impatient.  Why? Because this asparagus pasta, with its four ingredients (literally) is one of my most favorite dishes to make and to eat.  It is fast, easy and gorgeous.  Great for a quick dinner or a dinner party.

Try it once the asparagus are brave enough to rise up out of the soil.

Asparagus Pasta (Dawn's Vegan Version)
[Adapted slightly from the recipe published in Gourmet Magazine, May, 2000 contributed by Faith Heller Willinger]

Here is the direct link so you can open it side by side with my blog to make it.

1 pound (1 bunch, for the most part) fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1 to 2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest (the zest of a half to a whole lemon)
1 to 2 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
One pound pasta (Mafalde are GREAT if you can find them, they are sort of like one-quarter-width lasagna noodles. I also use Gemelli or penne, basically it is great on any pasta, but I tend to prefer long, interesting ones if I've got em in the house).
Optional: Some of the lemon juice, to taste if you like
Optional: Nutritional Yeast to sprinkle (if you want, totally awesome without it).

I would copy and paste the directions, but with copyright issues, you'll have to open the link for the cooking directions, sorry guys! Wasn't sure how to go about getting permission for this one...Gourmet being out of business and all.

Anyway, basically I am replacing the Parmesan with extra salt and lemon zest  I think I might have added extra olive oil, I'll update this the next time I make it if anything is different.  You may want to add nutritional yeast at the end if you want to thicken it, but it is really pretty thick without adding anything (just be careful adding the water to the pasta at the end).

Where are you, spring?

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