Gnocchi with Asparagus & Saffron
Gnocchi, fresh or dried
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
approx. 10 asparagus spears
1 tbsp butter
pinch of saffron strands (added to a little boiling water and left to steep for about 1 hour)
freshly ground salt and pepper
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Slice the tips at an angle and set aside. Slice the remaining stalks at an angle into even sized slices.
Toss the asparagus tips (only the tips!) into the pasta pot as you're cooking the pasta - about a minute before the pasta is done, just to remove the rawness. Drain and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil and tbsp of butter into a saucepan - when the butter has melted add the onion and garlic and sauté over a low to medium heat. When the onion has softened and started to colour add the sliced asparagus stalks, stir well and allow this soften also.
Add a small handful of grated parmigiano reggiano and the saffron liquid and saffron strands to the pan - stir this well and allow it to come back to temperature and the liquid to reduce. Add in the asparagus tips along with the drained cooked pasta.
Cook this for about a minute, stirring frequently so that the Gnocchi are well coated. Season with freshly ground salt and black pepper and another grating of parmigiano reggiano.