Last week’s unusually severe frosts caused some damage to the emerging asparagus spears and the grower had to discard quite a lot. The weekend picking was delayed until Monday, and this batch was hurried down from North Yorkshire this Tuesday morning so it’s pretty fresh! This time last year we’d started with new potatoes but we’ll have to wait another week or two. Last year’s maincrops are still in pretty good condition though; these are Cara. The cauliflower is Yorkshire grown, the lettuce is from Herefordshire.
TAGLIATELLE WITH PEAS AND ASPARAGUS
This is best made with fresh pasta (we do a tasty tagliatelle from the makers of our Sussex ‘parmesan’ type cheese, Bookhams) but dried would be fine. For two people
1 bunch asparagus,
75g peas fresh or frozen,
250g fresh tagliatelle (or 200g if using dried),
75g grated parmesan and a little more for sprinkling on top,
1 small clove garlic peeled and crushed,
150ml crème fraiche,
1 large egg yolk,
salt and pepper.
You’ll need a saucepan that will fit into another larger pan. Half fill the larger pan with water and heat it up. Rub the crushed clove of garlic around the inside of the smaller pan and then add the crème fraiche, egg yolk and parmesan. Set the pan into the larger pan of hot water and, stirring frequently, heat the sauce for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the asparagus by trimming away the tough bits and slicing the stems thinly on the diagonal. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and a minute later the asparagus and peas (for dried pasta add the asparagus after 4 or 5 minutes). Cook for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, drain, and place in a warmed serving bowl. Season the sauce, pour it over the pasta and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan on warmed plates.
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