Fettuccine with asparagus and lemon cream sauce
Fresh asparagus is the star in this simple springtime pasta. When the fettucine is almost cooked, drop in the asparagus and drain the two together. Meanwhile, cook shallots in a little butter with cream, lemon rind and juice, Parmesan, and plenty of black pepper. The dish is easy enough for a weeknight, elegant enough for a dinner party.
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||pound dried fettuccine|
|2||bunches fresh asparagus, ends snapped, stalks cut into 1-inch pieces|
|½||cup heavy cream|
|Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon|
|1||cup grated Parmesan cheese|
|Extra grated Parmesan (for serving)|
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook 2 minutes more, or until asparagus and pasta are tender, but still have some bite. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta water and remove 1 cup. Drain the pasta mixture into a colander, and return to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the cream, lemon rind and juice, 1 cup Parmesan, ½ cup pasta cooking water, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture, and cook, tossing gently, for 2 minutes or until the mixture is hot. Add more pasta cooking water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to make a saucier dish. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Divide among 4 deep bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Catherine Smart