Bright green asparagus and bitter Parmiggiano. Whole wheat pasta and fresh cracked pepper. Bold culinary frontiers.
When April Bloomfield penned her predominantly vegetarian manuscript, I wonder if she thought of those who had never tried eggplant, mushrooms or kale? I wonder if her choices were aimed at preserving the simplicity of nature’s bounty, capturing freshness in a recipe, etching color on a plate?
I hope so. I, for one, had never tried asparagus prior to reading her book. Never had any desire to try it. Offering 3 options for Asparagus, A Girl and Her Greens left my fingers dancing and ready to cook!
If it’s true we eat with our eyes, then Bloomfield’s recipe perfectly captures that verdant clarity in this slightly healthier take on Fettuccine Alfredo. The asparagus is a bold, bright green on a background of white. Warm steam gently snakes into the air carrying hints of Parmiggiano to tempt your taste buds.
Plus, there is the added bonus of a new technique to add to your culinary resume. Although Bloomfield suggest making your own pasta for this dish, I was hungry, so I got straight to work. Enjoyable results, new vegetables!
- 4oz of fettuccine, prepped per instructions
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2-3/4 cup crème fraîche, depending on thickness
- 2oz grated Parmiggiano, plus a bit more for finishing
- 1 small garlic clove
- 3-4 asparagus spears, ends trimmed, stalks cut on a diagonal
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
- Trim the asparagus of the woody tips and cut the stalks on a diagonal into long 1/2 inch pieces, Leave the tips whole!
- Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, crème fraîche, 2oz Parmiggiano, and garlic, Season to taste. Set the glass bowl over the boiling water to create a double boiler. (Make sure the boiling water doesn't skim the bottom of the bowl!) Whisking constantly, heat the sauce until thick and creamy (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
- Next, salt the water and add a drizzle of oil. Cook the pasta per instructions. Add the asparagus to a medium fine mesh sieve and set it on top of the pasta to blanch the asparagus. When the pasta is al dente, drain both and add to the sauce, stirring to coat. Finish with a sprinkling of Parmiggiano, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!
- Serves 1 for dinner or 2 for a light lunch perhaps alongside a small salad topped with berries and a simple vinaigrette.