Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! It is a little late this year but I am so glad it is here. The past few days have just been glorious with bright sunshine and warm temperatures. The birds are chirping and I can already see little buds appearing on the trees. At the grocery stores, the produce section is getting more and more exciting. There is an abundance of asparagus, one of the first signs of spring.
Asparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables. I like to use them in stir fries as they cook very easily. Two to three minutes in a hot pan is all it takes for them to cook up crisp and green. There is no need for pre-blanching. They are also wonderful tossed with pasta and noodles to provide a contrast of textures.
Recently, Ro-Ri San bought me a copy of Italian Country Cook by Loukie Werle. This gorgeous cookbook has many delicious recipes which I hope to try in the days ahead. One that caught my eye was Bavette with asparagus and breadcrumbs. It is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients. I was excited to give it a try.
I used fettuccine in place of bavette, a flat spaghetti like pasta with a convex shape. I toasted and flavored the breadcrumbs with some Italian seasoning. I also added some lemon zest to give it an even zestier flavor. It was totally delicious and so very satisfying! I was pleasantly surprised that the guys enjoyed it as well even though there was no meat in the dish. I am definitely going to make this again and again. I hope you will give it a try. You will not be disappointed.
This Asparagus and Breadcrumbs Fettuccine recipe was adapted from the cookbook, Italian Country Cook by Loukie Werle.
- 1 lb (450g) fettuccine
- ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
- Lemon zest from 1 lemon
- ½ cup (20g) parsley, chopped
- 3 slices of day old bread, finely cubed
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine cubed bread, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to a baking pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden.
Boil fettuccine in lightly salted water until al dente, about 11 to 13 minutes or according to packaging instructions.
In a large pan, heat olive oil. Cook garlic for one minute over medium heat. Add asparagus and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup (120ml) liquid. Add pasta, salt, pepper, and reserved liquid to the pan. Toss to coat pasta with sauce.
Stir in lemon zest and parsley. Turn off heat.
Dish onto plates. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve immediately.
I did shave some parmesan over the pasta. Made it even more yummy!
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!