It is spring and asparagus are in season! The green ones are what most of us are most accustomed to – in Malaysia, we normally have it stir fried with garlic or with chilli sambal. I found a bunch of white asparagus in the market and here is my attempt to incorporate them as a pasta dish. White asparagus are special because they are grown covered as to not develop the green colouring (chlorophyll). They taste milder and more tender. In Italy, the white asparagus from Bassano del Grappa are famous.
Here are some of my renditions:
Pasta with white asparagus in cream sauce and hardboiled egg.
250 g. of tagliolini pasta (or any thin long fresh pasta)
200 g. of white asparagus tops,
a knob of butter
1 hard-boiled egg, (with the yolk semi cooked, while the whites are cooked)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup double cream
2 tbp parsley finely chopped
2 tsp of chopped spring onions
salt and pepper to taste
Clean the asparagus and boil them in a pot full of salted water. Do not overcook. Drain and dry them. Slice into thin pieces except the tops. Heat the olive oil and soften the onions – add the bacon if you are using. Add the butter in a pan, and then the chopped asparagus and their tops. Add the cream, let it simmer for approx 3 mins , followed by salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta until al dente separately. Throw into the asparagus mixture and toss all together, add the parsley. season with a bit more salt and pepper if needed. Serve on a plate sprinkled with chopped egg and spring onions and freshly ground pepper.
White asparagus alla bassanese
1kg Bassano white asparagus
4 poached eggs (with yolks still runny)
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Clean and trim the asparagus. Cook them in salted water, bring to boil until just right about 10-15mins depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain them and leave to cool on a plate.
Make the sauce- take the egg yolks from the poached eggs, with a beater, slowly add in the oil and whip the yolks together (like making mayonnaise) until it becomes a thick creamy consistency. Add the lemon juice , salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the yolk sauce over the white asparagus and serve.