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April 26, 2017 / Chris Blum

Asparagus Pasta with Asparagus Pesto

This is from Opray’s new cookbook inspired by Jean George. It is a bit of work and worth it!

Pesto:
18 medium asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off and discarded
1 c fresh mint leaves
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp cold water, or as needed
1 clove garlic
1 green Thai chile
1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large bowl with water and ice to make an ice-water bath.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water, then add the medium asparagus and cook for about five minutes, until tender. Remove the asparagus from the water using tongs (do not drain the water), then shock in the ice-water bath until fully cooled. Remove from the ice-water bath and blot dry with paper towels.

Chop the asparagus and place in a blender or food processor. Add the mint, oil, cold water, garlic, chile, and salt and process until smooth, adding more water if the mixture is too thick. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Pasta:
1 1/2 c morel mushrooms
12 jumbo asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 pz angel hair pasta
8 mint leaves, cut thin
2 oz pecorino, grated
6 lime wedges

Rinse the morels in several batches of water to clean. Dry and cut into quarters, lengthwise.

Bring a pot of of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package. Adding the asparagus noodles in the last 30 seconds.

Cut tips off the asparagus and shave into thin strips on a mandoline.

In a large pan, heat oil and cook motels for 5 minutes. Add pasta to the sauce, toss to cook adding a little pasta water if needed. Toss with pesto, serve with cheese and lime wedge.

Serves 6.

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