It's delightful to see that the first local asparagus spears start appearing in the shops here in England, and you probably won't be surprised to hear that I instantly had to buy a few bunches once I saw them. Hence today's recipe is just a quick weekday pasta using green asparagus as an ingredient, because a simple weekday pasta is such a fine thing to have after a busy day. I also have a new source for vegetarian hard cheese, Bookham & Harrison's online shop, and today I used their wonderful Sussex Charmer cheese in this dish. This also means that I will be cooking and posting more pasta dishes again, so here is today's recipe, try it!
125g green asparagus
2 garlic cloves
20g Sussex Charmer/or any vegetarian hard cheese
½ lemon's juice
1tbsp olive oil
½tsp black pepper
300g semi-wholewheat tortiglioni
A few mint leaves for serving
Chop the hazelnuts, shallot and garlic finely, and cut the asparagus into about 2 cm long pieces. Cook the shallot and garlic in olive oil in a pan until soft, steam the asparagus for about 5 minutes, and toast the hazelnuts in an oven dish for about 10 minutes at 175C. Combine the shallots, garlic, asparagus and hazelnuts and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to the pan.
In the meanwhile cook the pasta al dente. Take a few tablespoons of the pasta boiling water and add it to the sauce, also add a little bit of the cheese to the pan. Make thin shavings of the rest of the cheese.
Once everything is cooked and seasoned nicely, combine the pasta with the sauce and serve with fresh mint leaves and hard cheese shavings on the top.