Spring has sprung, and one of the most popular veggies of the season is asparagus!
Full of wonderful things, asparagus carries lots of Vitamin C, 3-4 stalks will contribute to a quarter of your daily needs (Sourced from Asparagus.com.au).
When I was a child, my mother would often prepare asparagus simply, served blanched, with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. But I wasn’t a fan of the grassy green spears. However, on occasion she would whip up this quick recipe for Asparagus and Smoked Pancetta (sometimes bacon) pasta, and we would lick the plates clean. The sweetness of the asparagus and the smokey saltiness of the pancetta couple oh so well!
We have used Gnocchi Sardi, a small shell shaped pasta that will scoop up all of the tasty goodness created in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever pasta is in your pantry, including fresh gnocchi or spaghetti.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
10 Asparagus stalks
150 grams smoked Pancetta / or Bacon sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
40 grams butter
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
250 grams small pasta shells (Gnocchetti Sardi)
50 grams freshly grated firm salted ricotta
How to prepare:
Cook the pasta, as per instructions in lightly salted water (the bacon and ricotta contribute a fair amount of seasoning to this dish. Whilst the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
Chop the asparagus stalks into 5 cm pieces.
Heat a large pan on medium to high heat, then add the olive oil and butter. When melted add the sliced pancetta / bacon. Cook until the bacon starts to pop.
Add the crush garlic and stir through for 20-30 seconds. Add the asparagus and cook for a further 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Place the heat on high and add the wine. Allow the wine to reduce for 1-2 minutes.
By this stage, the pasta should be cooked (al-dente). Using a slotted spoon or a sieve, transfer the pasta directly to the sauce. Do not strain the pasta in a colander as it will render the dish too dry.
Stir to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Turn off the heat. Add the grated ricotta cheese and stir until melted through.
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