Every spring I look forward to the abundance of fresh asparagus in the markets. I probably serve this vegetable 2 - 3 times a week during its growing season and I'm always looking for a new way to prepare the delicious green stalks.
I found a pasta recipe with mushrooms and asparagus on epicurious.com and made it my own.
I started by sautéing bacon with onion and some red pepper flakes.
I added sliced mushrooms.
Next came the sliced asparagus. Doesn't it look gorgeous?
Next came some cream, chicken broth, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
When the sauce thickened a bit, I added freshly cooked farfalle pasta and tossed it all together.
Et voilà! There you have a satisfyingly delicious pasta dish with fresh mushrooms and asparagus. You can make this a vegetarian dish by eliminating the bacon and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.
My adaptation of this epicurious recipe.
3 strips of thick, cut bacon, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 lb thin asparagus, sliced on the bias, about 1/2 inch long
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 lb farfalle pasta
2 tablespoon sliced basil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, then add 2 tablespoons salt.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, sauté bacon in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper flakes and sauté quickly to keep the ingredients from scorching. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms darken slightly in color and are softened but still holding their shape, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and asparagus and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, immediately reduce the heat to keep it from scorching, and cook for several minutes.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes from the time the water returns to a boil
4. Add the basil and cheese to the pan with the mushrooms and toss well.
5. Reserve a cup or so of the pasta's cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the mushrooms, asparagus, and sauce. If the sauce seems too dry, stir in a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper.
If you eliminate the bacon, sauté onion in about 1 tablespoon olive oil