With all the asparagus in the farmers’ markets these days, I cannot resist making this dish (and it takes less than 20 minutes)! Fresh herbs from the garden harmonize perfectly with garlic and asparagus. Zesty lemon highlights in the sauce are softened by a touch of cream.
While this is an amazingly tasty main dish, it would pair well with grilled tofu, fish or chicken for extra protein.
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
1 bunch asparagus, ends removed, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces at the ends,
1 inch pieces at the tips
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 or 2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
1 package orecchiette pasta
Freshly-grated Parmesan for topping
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Start salted water boiling for pasta. Meanwhile, saute garlic in olive oil with fresh herbs and pepper flakes for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. Turn down the heat to warm until you add the pasta to the water.
2. About 4 minutes later (roughly 5 minutes before the pasta is done), turn up the heat to medium high, and add the asparagus to the herbs and olive oil. Cook the asparagus until crunchy but cooked (about 5 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon salt.
3. Remove pasta from pot, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid. Add liquid and lemon zest to asparagus. Stir. Turn down the heat, add pasta and stir.
4. Serve topped with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese, a drizzling of olive oil, pepper and additional salt to taste.