White asparagus

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:

white1

Pasta with white asparagus in cream sauce and hardboiled egg.

2 servings

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 lemon
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.

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