Fettuccine with Asparagus and Whipped Ricotta is the right dish to bring on spring. I love when asparagus is in season and on behalf of all asparagus, know that they are long and green, and good for you to eat. They will make your body strong and lean, the flavour can’t be beat. So, when you’re in the store, just take this tip from us, buy asparagus! The whipped ricotta adds such a smooth and delicate flavour to this dish. It complements the asparagus nicely. This dish is easy to prepare and the asparagus puree and whipped ricotta can be made beforehand.
FETTUCCINE WITH ASPARAGUS AND WHIPPED RICOTTA
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
400g fresh ricotta, drained and strained with a cheese cloth
Salt, to taste
Zest of half a lemon, more for serving
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Nutmeg, a pinch
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
5 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
5-6 Fresh basil leaves
1 lb Fettuccine, reserve 1 cup of pasta water
2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
Chili flakes, to taste
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, for serving
1. Place the drained ricotta in a food processor. Add lemon zest, heavy cream, nutmeg and season with salt. Pulse until you reach a smooth texture, like whip cream. Depending on how thick the ricotta is, you may have to add a bit more cream. Taste and adjust with any seasonings. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, the one to cook the pasta, add water and heat. Trim your asparagus and cut off the tips and set aside. Finely chop up the rest of the asparagus, small enough so that it can cook quickly. In a large pan on medium-high heat, add 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, asparagus and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Saute for a few minutes and then add a ladle of the hot water from the pot, enough to cover the asparagus. Continue to cook until the asparagus is soft and tender. Remove asparagus and either add to a blender or container for an immersion blender. Add basil and blend until smooth. You may have to add more water to help loosen the puree. You want more of a puree than a soup texture. Set aside.
3. Get the large pot of water boiling, if not already, and generously salt it. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve some pasta water. While the pasta cooks we will start the sauce.
4. In a large pan on medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, butter and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Saute until the garlic starts become tender and fragrant. Add the asparagus tips right before removing the pasta. Add fettuccine and a little bit of the pasta water to the pan. Mix and toss to start forming the sauce. Add asparagus puree continuing to mix and toss adding more pasta water if needed. Once pasta is cooked and the sauce is formed turn off the heat. Add 2-3 dollops of whipped ricotta and mix and toss to incorporate. Plate your pasta and finish with a dollop of whipped ricotta on top, some lemon zest, freshly cracked pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enjoy
Until next time, ciao!