At the moment Australian grown spring asparagus are $1.00 per bunch! Yep, that's correct...$1.00. And yes, they are beautiful. I do hope the farmer is benefits from the high sales of asparagus. Imagine how much work goes into growing, picking and packing asparagus!
I picked up 4 bunches the other day and put them to great use in a pasta. This is a very simple pasta dish based on this one by Jamie Oliver. I love the way Jamie Oliver uses ingredients and the flavours he puts together. Rarely do I completely follow the recipe but take inspiration from the idea of the dish. The recipe asks for 1 bunch of asparagus but where is that going to go? Maybe in England the bunches are larger. Definitely use more even four!
Jamie Oliver inspired Asparagus Pasta
So take four bunches of asparagus. Snap the woody ends and throw away. Wash under running water. Chop off the tender tops (about 3 or 4 cm) and reserve for later. Slice up the rest.
Heat up a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and gently fry the slice up asparagus with about 200g chopped pancetta or bacon.
When the asparagus is tender, crush with a fork. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Jamie suggests egg tagliatelle which I didn't have. These fusilli say "per i propri amici" - "for true friends". What better true friends can a girl have than her family so fusilli for "true friends" it is.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
Two minutes before the pasta is done throw in the asparagus tips.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the pasta (with the asparagus tips) to the pan of mashed asparagus goodness and toss to combine. Stir in as much parmesan cheese as you like and check the seasoning.
Serve and enjoy!