Fettuccine with Lemon, Asparagus and Leek
2 Bunches of Asparagus, approximately 16 medium spears
1 Medium Leek
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Toasted Breadcrumbs
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Optional: Roughly chopped fresh herb, such as basil or flat-leaf parsley. 1/4 cup
Bring 5 litres of salted water to the boil, for the pasta.
As the water comes to the boil, prepare the leek and asparagus.
Trim the base and green tops of the leek. Slice in half, lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch/5mm slices.
Break off the tough bases of the asparagus, then chop into 1 inch/2.5cm long pieces.
Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook as directed on the package... about 10-12 minutes.
Heat a skillet over a medium high heat. Add olive oil and leeks, and cook until the leeks are soft... about 4-5 minutes.
While the leeks are sauteing, steam the asparagus pieces for 2-3 minutes and then shock in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
Once the leeks are cooked, add the minced garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the lemon juice, asparagus to the leek and garlic. Cook briefly, about a minute to ensure things are heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water.
Combine the pasta, reserved cooking water, asparagus and leek sauce and toasted breadcrumbs... toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Pairs Well With
This is a light and simple pasta dish that makes a great lunch, or main meal when teamed with a salad and some crusty bread. It came about as a reworking of a standard asparagus preparation, lemon roasted asparagus, and is quick and easy enough that it's good for cooking after work when time is short.