I can’t believe I made it home just in time to catch the end of asparagus season!
Inspired by Laura, co-owner of Riverbank Farm, my housemates and I decided to try making some asparagus pasta. Who knew that it would be so amazingly tasty? Freshly blanched asparagus pasta immersed in creamy asparagus sauce, and topped with broiled asparagus. wow.
This is definitely my new favorite meal! Too bad I will have to wait another year for more asparagus. If you have some left, I highly recommend making this tasty dish while you can.
4-5 bunches of asparagus
GF pasta, I really like this Quinoa garden pagoda pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for frying
1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes, plus extra for topping
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp soy free vegenaise
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp So Delicious coconut milk (not canned coconut milk)
Juice from 1 lime or lemon (we used half of each)
2 tsp paprika
Salt (we used himalayan rock salt), to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Set aside 6 stalks of asparagus (you will broil these for a topping). Chop the rest of the asparagus stalks and divide into two piles. It would be good if one pile had nicer pieces such as the heads and slim stems and the other pile had the chunkier stalks. Make sure you have about 3 cups of chunkier stalks which you will use to make the sauce.
Start to cook the pasta. When it is almost cooked, but has maybe 30 sec – 1 min left to be fully cooked, add the pile of nicer pieces (heads and slim stalks). Let this cook for about 1 minute. The goal is to cook the asparagus until it is bright green and tender, but not so much that it starts to lose its color. If you haven’t already, steal about a cup of water from the pot and set aside, you will use this in the sauce. Then, after about a minute or when the asparagus is bright green, drain the pasta asparagus mixture, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, you can start cooking the sauce. Start by braising 3 cups of asparagus stalks: sauté the asparagus on high heat until it browns. Then add about a cup of water from the pasta pot and continue to cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Combine the braised asparagus with the rest of the ingredients (minus the toppings) in a food processor and puree until smooth.
While this is happening, drizzle some olive oil over the 6 reserved whole asparagus pieces. Broil these in the oven until crispy (but not burnt). Chop, and leave with the extra minced sun-dried tomatoes (this will be a topping).
Finally, combine the cooked pasta and asparagus with the sauce and top with broiled asparagus pieces and minced sun-dried tomatoes. Enjoy!
Below: Fred harvests the last of the asparagus from Riverbank Farm.