Creamy and Healthy Asparagus-Zucchini PastaPosted: December 13, 2011
I haven’t made this in a while and to be honest, I should have gone to the gym today but decided to be all futzy cooking instead.
This was one of the first Jamie Oliver recipes I tried and it is great because it has a ton of flavor but has very little fat. You can make the sauce ahead like on a weekend and put this together in a snap after work. I also should just rename this blog Cooking Jamie Oliver`s Stuff, or JO Fangirl. It was not on my on deck, but I had the asparagus and zucchini on hand and here it is.
What I Used:
1 stalk celery
1 half a large onion. I just chopped the whole thing and put away the half for the stuffed mushrooms I’ll make later this week.
1 lb asparagus
1 half a large zucchini, again, I just chopped the whole thing and will use the rest in the mushrooms.
2 large cloves garlic
9 oz veg stock
1 tablespoon spinach- basil pesto I had made earlier. I had no fresh basil on hand so that worked, use fresh basil, a handful if you prefer.
About a tablespoon crushed red pepper
About a tablespoon olive oil
Aged parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 lb long pasta. I used Rustichella bucatini – that brand of pasta is aces and I will buy no others.
Half a lemon
What I Did:
Fine dice the celery, onion, leek and garlic. Heat a Dutch oven or large vessel and add the oil.
Peel the ends of the asparagus. You want to peel it especially since you are going to hand blend it down to make the sauce. Cut the tips off and leave to the side.
At this point I added the celery/leek/onion/garlic to the pan to sweat while I went back to chopping.
Sweat it on low for like 7-10 min or whenever you finish chopping. Or just chop it all upfront if you are slow, whatever.
So fine dice the stalks and the zucchini, skin and all on that.
Add the asparagus and zucchini, and the pesto or if you have it, a handful of fresh basil, to the sweated veg and cook on low for another 5 min. Salt and pepper it and add the chili pepper.
Add the stock and cook for about 15 min until the veg is soft.
Put your pot of water on to boil and salt it for the pasta.
Veg is done.
Immersion blend it. If yours in shallow in the pan like mine, it will splatter all over and take forever to blend down. Since I am too lazy to transfer pans, I just tilt my pan to one side and blend it.
It will become a magical cream sauce, and you are done. Cook your pasta and add the asparagus tips to it 3 min before the pasta is to be done. Like, I said, you can just make the sauce and use it a few days later if you want.
Pasta is done, drain and sprinkle with the parm in the colander, like a couple tablespoons of parm and add to the sauce and mix together. Add the juice of the lemon and more parm if you want.