April 27, 2008

Still Eating As Much Asparagus As Possible...

Every week the outdoor food markets have several small asparagus growers who have set up their worn and battered trestle tables which are overflowing with green asparagus, ranging in size from delicate, pencil thin to sturdy, felt-tip marker fat.

Of course, I can't resist.
At least a kilo makes it into my shopping basket every week.

My latest asparagus recipe search led me to an interesting looking pasta recipe that incorporated sautéed hazelnuts - of which I have tons of in the freezer. (last time I found them for a decent price I bought a giant bag)
I adapted it to my tastes and the result was a rich, creamy and fresh tasting dish.

hazelnuts toasting in butter

a beautiful melange of fresh asparagus, onion, garlic and petit pois

Asparagus and Hazelnut Pasta

1 pound pasta - I used penne
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup frozen petit pois - I love them so I used a lot, you could use just ½ cup
½ cup dry, white wine
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
¼ cup Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and asparagus and sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes, until the onion just lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in another pan, preferably nonstick, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the hazelnuts to the melted butter and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the peas to the onion and asparagus, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the wine to the onion and asparagus mixture and bring to a boil.
Cook the wine for 2 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook pasta according to package directions, until just al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and place in a large serving bowl.
Add the cooked onion and asparagus mixture and toss everything together.
Add the parsley, cheese, and hazelnuts.
Season with salt and black pepper, and mix well.
Serve immediately.

the finished dish Pin It


Riana Lagarde said...

sounds fabulous, i'll have to try that out. hope to see you soon one of these fine days!

Loulou said...

C'était super bon!
You must try it.

I would love to see you. Haven't been to Narbonne in ages due to having to go to Carcassonne several times this month. When I plan my next visit I'll let you know and we can get together, maybe on the beach?

alisa in Los Angeles said...

I must try this..it looks great.

Ilva said...

Interesting, must try it!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Looks tasty, must try this out.

I love the way anyone can set up a little stall and sell their fruit and veg.

Here in the UK, they have to apply to the council, they get there alloted place and pay a certain amount...a rip off. Our market (for what its worth) and thats not much, is held on a free carpark..so its not like they are losing parking fees...

poppy fields said...

Looks delicious!

Loulou said...

It was sooooo good!

Let me know what you think.

There are rules here too, but these people show up every year, so I'm sure the local police (who collect the fees) know them and maybe get lots of asparagus "tips".

It is! Do your girls like asparagus?

Camille said...

That looks fantastic! I love hazelnuts and I love asparagus (although that's a more recent development). Last weekend at the market in Paris, however, all I could find was white asparagus - not quite as pretty or tasty, in my opinion. Asparagus season isn't over yet, is it?

spacedlaw said...

Sounds great!
I have to try this next.

Loulou said...

We can get the white asparagus now too, but they seem to be bitter down here. I remember having them up north and their flavor was much sweeter.
Asparagus season isn't over yet!

I hope you do. You'll love it.
Still planning on making your lavender cake. I'll let you know when I do.

Lannae said...

Dear Loulou, that hazelnut in butter photo is making me weak in the knees! How delightful it must be to have toast your own fresh hazelnuts! I can only imagine what the aroma and flavor were like. I don't know if I can get a fresh hazelnut where I live in the USA.

katiez said...

The hazelnuts nuts I have in plenty - we have 2 trees (or group of shrubs or whatever they are)
But that lovely green asparagus... That rarely makes it this far north.. Fat white and medium violet are our choices...
I need to move further south (and get out of the rain)

Loulou said...

I'm sure you can find shelled hazelnuts where you are. They don't need to be fresh from a tree to be delicious!
I bought those myself...they aren't my own, unfortunately.

You have hazelnut trees! I have an almond tree in the garden but it doesn't produce much.
We've had lots of rain too. Like last night. But the sun is out now and it's beautiful and fresh and green!
I love that sweet, white asparagus that you get up there. With homemade mayo...so delicious!