I make this dish when the vegetables are really nice and fresh. I guess it’s my version of pasta primavera. Last week, we ended up with some really good asparagus from the farmers’ market. I also made it with broccoli and asparagus since. It’s superb. I know it doesn’t look all that interesting to many carnivores out there but when made wit fresh asparagus and broccoli, the vegetables are beautifully sweet.
- 6 thick asparagus
- 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 1 tbsp of pine nuts
- 1 small lemon
- 250g of spaghetti
- 3 tbsp of spinach and almond pesto*
- 80 g. of butter
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of salt
Use a peeler and peel back the tough bit of the asparagus stems. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes. Before blanching the whole asparagus stems and broccoli florets in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the vegetables, set aside.
While the pasta is cooked, add olive oil to a frying pan and sautee the shallot slices gently for 5 minutes. Add pine nuts and butter to make sauce. Grate the lemon zest into the sauce and add lemon juice. Turn off the heat.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain completely. Toss through the pesto with the pasta. Add the pasta into the asparagus, broccoli, lemon and shallot mixture. Taste and season as appropriate. Serve with grated parmesan.
* I bought this at the farmers’ market but you can substitute this with any mild flavoured pesto (i.e. not basil). I also found a recipe for spinach and almond pesto that looks about right for what I bought.