HomePastaRachel Roddy’s recipe for spaghetti with asparagus, butter and lemon | Pasta

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for spaghetti with asparagus, butter and lemon | Pasta

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A 10cm x 10cm picket sq. with a big gap crossed with wire strings: it might be a tiny harp if it didn’t even have one other set of 12 strings that cross the primary, forming a mesh. Even so, it may be strummed with an extended nail, the fundamental strum audible, in case you get in shut. Its precise goal is for slicing puntarelle, the internal tubes of a wide range of chicory known as cicoria di catalogna or cicoria asparago (asparagus chicory). A late winter-to-early spring vegetable, succulent puntarelle, with its asparagus-like suggestions, or punte, is a well-liked salad in Lazio, so the fundamental, nifty and low cost sq. cutters (tagliapuntarelle) are widespread and simple to return by in {hardware} shops. And far as puntarelle migrates and thrives in soil all over, so do the cutters. After all, you don’t want a cutter; a knife works simply as properly, solely extra slowly.

I additionally know a number of individuals who have made themselves a tagliapuntarelle, impressed by the bigger cutters you typically see on market stalls: picket bins or frames strung with wire. Huge or small, it’s a fantastically satisfying instrument, the crisp tubes of chicory slicing like butter into skinny strips, or, if you wish to preserve the guidelines intact, puntarelle octopi! And it isn’t just for puntarelle: celery, courgettes and pink pepper work on this instrument, too; massive greens was fats strings in two musical seconds.

Final week, whereas I do know I can’t be the primary to have achieved so, I did really feel like a genius after I pushed asparagus by means of the mesh. I took off the guidelines first, in order to not offend them, however later questioned if they might undergo, too. Asparagus stems are much more satisfying than puntarelle, as a result of they sail by means of the wires and splay out like straight tentacles kind of the identical proportions as spaghetti. Which is why, if the strips are wilted down in oil and given loads of butter and lemon zest, they pair so properly with spaghetti, for what’s a two-tone pleasure and perhaps my favorite recipe to date this 12 months.

As all the time, the ultimate stirring is essential. It’s when the pasta, asparagus, starch, fats and pan juices mix and every little thing comes collectively, so don’t be afraid to swish the pan and stir vigorously. I might additionally prefer to apologise vigorously for happening a few kitchen gadget that most individuals received’t have. Which is why this column can be an advert for the varied makers of this good-value object and, extra importantly, calls to anybody able to stringing wire or adapting devices. I’m additionally inquisitive about commissioning a bigger mannequin, for each outsized courgettes and strumming observe.

Spaghetti with asparagus, butter and lemon

Serves 4

1 x massive bunch asparagus (about 250g)
3-4 spring onions
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt
450g spaghetti
40g butter
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus 2 tbsp lemon juice

Trim the top of the asparagus as you favor: snap off the woody ends or pare away the woody elements with a potato-peeler. Lower off the guidelines, then lower the spears lengthways into skinny strings as shut in dimension to spaghetti as you’ll be able to. Trim the spring onions, then slice the bulbs into arcs and the inexperienced elements into brief lengths.

You wish to coordinate the cooking in order that each the greens, which take about 10 minutes to melt, are prepared concurrently the spaghetti, which, relying on the model, can take something from seven to 11 minutes, so drop the spaghetti into salted boiling water accordingly.

Whereas the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a big frying pan set over a medium-low warmth, soften the spring onions for a minute, then add the asparagus and a pinch of salt, and cook dinner, stirring, till it wilts; carry over a ladleful of the pasta cooking water, all cloudy with starch, to assist it alongside – as soon as cooked, the asparagus needs to be smooth with just a bit juice. Stir within the butter, lemon juice and zest.

Drain the pasta (or carry it instantly into the asparagus combine), then toss and swish vigorously for a minute or so, or till every little thing combines. Serve instantly, with grated parmesan for individuals who need it.

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