by Sarah Alcock
Asparagus season is upon us – out with foreign imports and in with glorious, verdant green British asparagus. Feast on it while the season is high – lay the spears in a wide-bottomed pan. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and enough boiling water just to cover. Boil for 3-4 minutes then drain, toss in melted butter and eat piping hot. Griddling asparagus adds something special to the flavour too – blanch the spears first then griddle over a high heat for a further few minutes.
Or, for a quick supper add asparagus to a classic carbonara. This recipe was originally in Sainsbury's magazine, written by the lovely Alice Hart. It's become a favourite here at the mag, it's quick and delicious.
What are your favourite asparagus recipes? Do tell us in the comments box.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 100g pecorino cheese, finely grated
- 300g dried penne
- 250g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
- ½ x 28g pack basil, leaves only, shredded
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and gently soften the garlic for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
- Whisk together the egg yolks, egg and two-thirds of the grated cheese in a small bowl. Add the garlic and season with lots of black pepper.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, according to pack instructions. Add the asparagus for the last 3 or 4 minutes. Drain, saving half a mugful of the cooking water.
- Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan and add the egg and cheese mixture, stirring constantly. Add enough of the reserved cooking water – about 4 tablespoons – to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta; stir in the basil.
- Scatter with the pine nuts and serve with the remaining cheese.
When cooking with fatter asparagus spears, break off the wooden ends before cooking