Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Asparagus. Why Not?

Since everyone else and his brother and father and mother and sister are writing about asparagus, I guess I have to too.  I'll keep it brief.




Penne with asparagus, shallots, red pepper, olive oil, pecorino and lemon zest. For one.

1/2 lb. asparagus blanched

3 oz. good penne - 4 if you're really hungry, like 6 if you're a pig, but then make more asparagus - yes, very salted water, and if you're smart you'll use the water that you first blanched the asparagus in to cook the penne

2 T olive oil, yes good stuff, don't believe that crap that you should only use it at the end
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1 oz. percorino or Parmigiano or a mixture, grated
1 lemon, for grating the zest

Drop the pasta (totally professional term).  Slowly fry the shallot and pepper flakes in the oil. When the pasta has about 5 minutes left to cook (just guess, willya?), add asparagus to pan.  As the pan dries out, add big spoonfuls of pasta water to it.  When pasta is almost done to the point where you wouldn't want to eat it without cooking it for another minute or two (like sometimes at Lupa), transfer to pan w/asparagus (I use a Chinese spider) and start tossing and turning, adding more pasta water and tasting for will be surprised at how much pasta water will be absorbed, if you've cooked the pasta right and used a good brand.

When 99.9% done, turn off heat and add handfuls of cheese, keep tossing, tasting, and if it needs a little more water - add it. Did you taste it for salt and pepper?

At the very end, grate a little lemon zest over and enjoy. Be thankful that ramps are done.


  1. Great minds think alike! Great post my friend!

  2. Who doesn't love asaparagus?? And ...what is a Chinese spider, anyway?

  3. I friggin love you Mitch. Loie

  4. I LOVE asparagus but I buy the larger ones so I can peel them.