Demo Kitchen Recipe: Spaghetti with Garlic, Lemon and Asparagus
The Demo Kitchen realizes that we don’t give much love to the vegetarians out there, so we thought we would throw you a nonanimal-based bone by highlighting asparagus season with this quick and tasty pasta. This dish is super flexible so you can add a protein like shrimp or chicken, if you are so inclined, or add more veg (seasonal mushrooms are a welcome addition). You can even go full vegan by omitting the butter and cheese, but it’s a pretty dang good showcase for asparagus as is.
The lemony, herbal and veggie-centric nature of this vernal delight demands a crisp, zippy, dry white. Bone-dry Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc and even Hungarian Furmint all work well but our favorite asparagus wine is Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Grüner’s fresh, bright, and ultra-savory nature make it the absolutely perfect pairing.
Serves six as a pasta course or four as a main course.
- 1 lb. dried spaghetti or linguine
- reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic
- 1 lb. asparagus; woody part of stem removed, thinly sliced on a bias, tips intact
- pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling at the table
- 1/4 cup chiffonade of fresh basil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Place olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over low heat. Cook about 15 minutes until garlic is very tender but not browned.
- Meanwhile cook pasta in heavily salted water until just al dente. Reserve a couple of cups pasta water.
- When the garlic oil is done, transfer a few tablespoons of oil to a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add asparagus, season with a little salt and sauté for about 1 minute. Add pepper flakes and lemon zest, cook 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the oil (garlic included) and al dente pasta immediately to the sauté pan followed by lemon juice, and reserved pasta water (start with 1/2 cup, add more if needed to make enough sauce to coat). Stir and toss vigorously until sauce boils and a creamy emulsified sauce forms.
- Stir in butter, parmesan, and basil. Sauce should be creamy, emulsified and just enough to coat pasta and asparagus.
- Season with salt if needed. Serve immediately.
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