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I made this pasta a few days ago. It is asparagus season in Belgium. I love the green ones & the more delicate flavoured white ones.
Belgium, is especially famous for the white ones. Not far from Brussels, lies Kampenhout. Kampenhout is famous for the growth & the asparagus ” culture. “
This year, the asparagus are really expensive. It is the same as last year.
But that doesn’t stop me!
The white asparagus are known as ” White Gold “
So, I made this pasta recipe using fresh green asparagus & the white ones.
Recipe: For 2 persons, with seconds
a bundle of fresh white asparagus, not too thick, 500 gr ( weighted when bought )
about 110 gr fresh green asparagus ( weighted when bought )
200 gr fresh peas or frozen ones / I used frozen because they aren’t yet in season!
180 gr Prosciutto slices, cut into strips
125 ml of chicken stock
250 ml of soy cream
350 gr Orechiette pasta
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, cleaned & finely chopped
grated Parmesan, to serve
Grinds of black pepper
Maldon sea salt
1. First, prepare the asparagus. Clean them & cut off the roughest part at the end, about 0,5 à 1 cm. When you take your knife & cut into the end of the asparagus, there where it feels really hard, cut it off. Then, with a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus but leave the heads intact.
2. Now, wash them. Slice the asparagus & the tips on the diagonal.
3. Take a large cooking pot & fill with hot water. Bring to the boil on a high heat. When boiling, add the pasta. Add a splash of olive oil to the cooking water. Cook until al dente. Drain but keep a bit of the cooking water. Keep warm.
4. In the meantime, take a large cooking pot, large enough to blanch the asparagus in. Fill with hot water. Bring to the boil. When boiling, add the peas. Blanch or cook until al dente. Drain. Keep warm.
5. Take the same pot & fill with hot water. Bring again to the boil. When boiling, carefully add the white asparagus. Cook or blanch until al dente. I cooked the white asparagus first because they were much thicker as the smaller green ones, for about 5 to 9 minutes, depending on their size. When al dente, drain.
6. Do the same to the green asparagus. Cook until al dente, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
7. In the meantime, take a smaller cooking pot & pour the soy cream together with the hot chicken stock. Heat up on medium. This will become the sauce. Let it thickens. Stir from time to time. The soy cream musn’t boil over. After 5 to 10 minutes , the sauce will become thicker & thicker. Season with pepper & sea salt to your taste. Don’t add too much salt because the prosciutto is already salty!
8. Take a large nonstick frying pan & heat up on high. Add a bit of butter or baking margarine & let it melt. Fry the Prosciutto pieces until soft. Add the well-drained peas & asparagus. Pour the thickened sauce over the vegetables & prosciutto in the pan. Gently fold the sauce around.
9. Take your pasta pot & add the chopped mint. Stir well. Now, add everything from the pan to the pasta pot. Heat up a bit & fold everything gently around in the pot. Taste again. If necessary, add p & s.
10. Plate up & if wished, add grated Parmesan over the top.
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