Tag Archives: asparagus

Casarecce with asparagus and baked ricotta

With the arrival of Spring comes an abundance of Australian grown asparagus, rather than the wilted imported stuff we get a lot of the year.   Often I gently bake it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, but that evening I felt like throwing it in some pasta.  I chose casarecce, but any short pasta will work well.  The ricotta can be done a day ahead. Serves four.

asparaguscasarecce

Ingredients
250g fresh ricotta, well drained
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
3 bunches of asparagus, cut into 3cm length
500g casarecce, or pasta of your choice

Breadcrumb topping
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbps olive oil
Half a cup of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tbps finely graded lemon zest (optional, or to taste)

Making it
1. For the ricotta, add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and combine. Place in a mini cake tin or loaf pan sprayed with olive oil, and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool in tin then remove and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. For the breadcrumb topping, heat the olive oil in a small pan, and gently fry the bread crumbs until golden and crunchy. Place in a bowl and allow to cool. Add the parsley, parmesan and lemon zest and combine.

3. Blanch the asparagus for a minute in a pot of boiling water, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. You can then use this water to cook your pasta

4. While the pasta is cooking, in a frypan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the asparagus for 3 or so minutes. Add the drained cooked pasta once read, crumble in the baked ricotta, season and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired, and serve. Top with the desired amount of the breadcrumb mix.

Easy asparagus soup

asparagussoup

I love green vegetables, get cravings if I go too long without them.  I think it must be genetic, as my boys are the same and actually ask for broccoli, beans and peas (and get excited about them!).  This is an easy to make soup by Neil Perry, its a little naughty compared to the leek, pea and zucchini from the other week, as it does contain cream and butter.  Serves 4 and super easy

Ingredients
60g butter
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
4 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
1 large all purpose potato peeled and roughly chopped
800ml chicken stock
150ml pouring cream
1tbsp fresh lemon juice

Making it
1. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy based pan. Add leek, salt and pepper and sweat on low heat until leek is soft. Add asparagus and potato and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes
2. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, then process using a stick blender (or food processor) until smooth
3. Add the cream and lemon juice and serve with crusty bread or croutons