I recently started getting produce through Bountiful Baskets. My latest box had two bunches of asparagus, so I found myself looking for different ways to use it other than just steaming or roasting or grilling (my usual ways). Happily, I'd just received an update from Family Balance Sheet and it was "20 Ways to Make Asparagus"! Perfect. Timing.
At first I was going to make the Curried Quinoa & Asparagus Salad listed in her roundup. But when you have an almost-17-year-old teenager who is becoming quite a rock star in the kitchen, you might find that the last two cans of garbanzo beans have been used to make hummus. So I made the Linguine with Asparagus & Egg from her roundup instead (The recipe is from Martha Stewart. I can overlook the origin because it was delicious). I made it
OK, in the spirit of full disclosure, I also cooked a full pound of pasta (not the 3/4 lb listed in the recipe) and took out about 1/4 of it for my little girls to eat. There was no chance they'd eat it with the asparagus in it. And I didn't dare leave it all in and then add the asparagus (per the original recipe) because for sure they'd be able to tell their pasta had been contaminated. So I cooked the pasta all the way, reserved some cooking water, used tongs to remove the pasta to a colander, returned the pasta-water-filled pot to the stove, and cooked the asparagus separately. It's good I did it this way, though. It took longer for the asparagus to cook than the 1 minute indicated in the Martha recipe, so if I'd added the asparagus to the pasta for the last minute of cooking it wouldn't have been cooked enough. Even if I wasn't reserving some of the cooked pasta I'd do it the same way I did this time. For the recipe below, I'm going to pretend you don't need any extra, uncontaminated pasta.
Pasta with Asparagus & Egg (adapted from Martha)
3/4 lb linguine, spaghetti, or fettuccine
1 lb thin asparagus, sliced in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
4 large eggs
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. Use tongs to remove the pasta to a colander and return the water-filled pot to the stove. Bring it back to a high simmer, add the asparagus, and cook until al dente, 3-5 minutes (be careful, don't overcook it). Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and drain the asparagus over the pasta; drain well but don't rinse. Return the pasta and asparagus to the cooking pot. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, the butter, green onion, and Parmesan cheese, and toss gently to melt the butter and mix well.
2. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the eggs over-easy, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to taste before flipping them over.
3. To serve, divide the pasta & asparagus between 4 large bowls or plates, and top each with 1 egg and extra Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.