Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Eating seasonally: Green spring vegetable pasta for non-asparagus lovers

Green spring vegetable pasta
(for 2-4, depending on how hungry you are. Takes about 20 minutes to cook.)

200g tagliatelle (we find three tagliatelle nests are enough for four people)

2 glugs olive oil
1 small onion
1 stick celery
1 green chilli
6-8 spears asparagus
2 small or 1 large leek, or a mix of leek and green garlic tops
1 vegetable stock cube, 1/2 cup white wine and 1/2 cup water, or 1 cup home-made veggie stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice and fine zest of 1 lemon
1 handful basil leaves, finely chopped
shavings of parmesan - to taste, but about 1 cup

Chop the onion, celery, chilli and leek together. Bend the asparagus to break off the woody base, remove and reserve the tips and chop the stems.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. While it's coming to the boil, heat 1 glug of olive oil in a large saute pan and saute the vegetables for a few minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer for a few minutes more. Remove from heat and whizz in a blender to a puree.

Put the pasta on to cook according to packet directions, adding the asparagus tips four minutes before it's al dente. Heat the other glug of olive oil in the saute pan, add the garlic and sweat until soft. Add the pureed vegetables, basil, juice and zest of the lemon and simmer while the pasta cooks. Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce, adding a little of the pasta water if neccesary. Remove from the heat, toss some parmesan shavings through and serve in a large bowl with extra parmesan shavings on top.

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