New Season’s Asparagus has arrived and will be with us for the next 6 weeks.  My favourite way of enjoying asparagus is grilled with olive oil and sea salt, until slightly crispy at the tip. If you can do this over charcoal, so much the better.  You can also turn it into a full meal by incorporating sliced asparagus into linguine. This is a Jamie Oliver Recipe, and a good one…

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 300g dried linguine
  • 300g Rogate asparagus
  • 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

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus, then finely slice the spears at an angle, leaving the tips whole.(if grilling your asparagus, keep whole, roll in 2 tbsp olive oil & sea salt, and grill or BBQ for 5 minutes on both sides until lightly brown and crispy at the tip. Then slice into bite sized pieces and add to the cooked garlic and chillies at the end of step 3.
  3. Finely slice the garlic, chop up the dried chillies, and place both in a large frying pan over 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Taste and season to perfection, then divide between your plates. Finish with a grating of pecorino and a little lemon zest, to taste.

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