Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pasta Tossed with Asparagus, Cheese and Olive Oil

This was a winner with me and hubs. I bought a bunch of really beautiful asparagus at Cameron Highlands. Vegetables are so fresh and cheap there! Went thru a few recipes on ways to cook the asparagus and this caught my eye.

Asparagus goes well with lemon, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Actually the recipe I was looking at was to make a simple side dish but I added pasta as a more substantial meal for our dinner.

Clean and cut the asparagus into 1 1/2 inch sections. (remember to remove the tough lower ends). Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the aspragus and reduce heat. Cook for 2 mins and drain. Make sure you do not overboil as you want the asparagus to be crunchy, not mushy.

While the asparagus is still hot, quickly toss it with some lemon zest, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. (I never use pre-grated parmesan sold in packs as I find they lack the strength and flavour of freshly grated block cheese). Season with salt and pepper.
mmmMmm I never knew asparagus would go so well with lemon!

For the uninformed (like me) I never knew lemon zest was actually the grated yellow outer skin of a lemon. I always thought i could buy it like any McCormick's bottle of herbs. Haha no wonder I never could find it. Have fun with it, the oils in the lemon skin are so much more powerful and aromatic that the juice. And take care not to grate the inner white membrane as that part is bitter.


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