“I learnt this technique for cooking asparagus from one of the nonnas I met at the market in Rome. By frying, then adding a little liquid and reducing to a low temperature, you ensure the flavours combine beautifully. Creating emulsification at the very end gives a perfect sauce that’s as much about flavour as it is texture. ”
- 300 g dried linguine
- 300 g mixed asparagus , (wild, white, regular)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 dried red chillies
- olive oil
- 1 knob of unsalted butter
- 30 g pecorino , or Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
- 1 lemon
- Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus, then finely slice the spears at an angle, leaving the tips whole.
- Peel and finely slice the garlic, crumble up the dried chillies, and place both in a large frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil and the butter. When the garlic starts to sizzle, stir in the asparagus. Let it start to fry, then add a spoonful of pasta water, cover, and leave to simmer on a low heat until the pasta is al dente.
- Using tongs, drag the pasta straight into the asparagus pan, letting a little starchy cooking water go with it. Turn the heat off, then finely grate in the pecorino and toss together until the fat, cheese and liquid make a natural creamy sauce – loosen with a little extra cooking water, if needed.
- Taste and season to perfection, then divide between your plates. Finish with a grating of pecorino and a little lemon zest, to taste.
Source: Jamie Oliver