Anchovy and Asparagus Pasta

Posted By Kerri

This was mostly the same as the spaghetti and anchovies I ate on Tuesday, just with the addition of asparagus. I’ve got a big bag full of asparagus stalks in the fridge that I’ve been wondering what to do with, a couple of years ago I made asparagus pesto which I remember as being really good but tonight, I needed to use up the leftover anchovies.

I decided to make a kind of stock with the asparagus ends, to use as an emulsifier for the anchovy, chilli and garlic. All I did was boil the ends in some water for about 15 minutes and then added this to the aforementioned ingredients. It worked well and there was definitely a huge amount of flavour in the water. It occurred to me that I could actually blend the stalks into the water to release more flavour but I was worried about the soupiness of the texture, I haven’t disregarded this idea completely though and may do that next time.

I really liked this, it was more interesting than the previous attempt and the textures of the pasta and asparagus worked well together. I quite like the idea of adding crab or prawns too but think the chilli and anchovy would probably over-power the delicate flavours. Perhaps reducing the anchovy or omitting it would work though.

I have another couple of things I want to do with asparagus so need to work quickly before the season is over. I’ve found half-price asparagus in both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose recently which has been another good excuse for eating so much of it, the Sainsbury’s bunches were Peruvian though sadly.

Anchovy and Asparagus Pasta
Serves Two

Asparagus stalks
Asparagus tips
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
Large handful of parsley, chopped
Lemon juice
Black pepper

Start by cooking the pasta.

At the same time, boil the asparagus ends for about 15 minutes or until you’re left with about three tablespoons of water and then set aside. Steam the asparagus tips separately and set those aside too.

To make the sauce, fry the garlic, chilli and anchovy for about three minutes. Add the reserved water and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.

Combine the pasta and the sauce, add the parsley and the asparagus tips and toss together gently. Add a squeeze of lemon and some black pepper and serve.

May 20th, 2010

2 Comments to 'Anchovy and Asparagus Pasta'

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  1. Helen Wright said,

    That is a really good idea to use up the stalks. I’m still waiting for the asparagus to appear in my veg bag . It is such a shame that the supermarkets are selling asparagus from Peru in the middle of our season.

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Helen. I hope you find some asparagus soon!

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