11.30.2009

White Asparagus, and oh yeah, Pasta

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If you read this blog, or even glance over it occasionally, you can tell I like pasta. And I like it often. So let me first mention the white asparagus. If you haven't tried some, you should. It's delicious and nuttier than it's green cousin. In Spain, all we had was white asparagus, usually marinated, and huge. So when I saw my local market had some, and for the same price as the green, I bought a pack.

There's apparently different ways to prepare this, but I went for the simple oven roasted recipe. A few days prior I had made a simple dressing with olive oil, champagne vinegar, a shallot, sea salt, pepper and thyme, so I just drizzled some of that dressing over the tender asparagus and baked them for 20 minutes or so. They were delicious.

As for the pasta, I noticed in my previous posts I didn't really list a recipe, so I'll attempt to this time. I used some tomato fettuccine, I like my pasta colorful, but you can use any pasta you want. It's the sauce that's important.

Pasta Sauce
Serves 3 really hungry people, or 4 moderate eaters. For 1 lb of pasta.
Hungarian bacon (peppered), a small chunk the size of a child's fist (I buy a huge chunk, chop it up and freeze in pieces)
Italian sausage link
1/2 can of black olives, sliced
1/2 can of artichokes or artichoke bottoms (I used bottoms this time since I had some left over)
Fresh basil
Dried basil, rosemary and oregano
pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 cans of tomato sauce (8 oz), you can also substitute one can of crushed tomatoes, if you like the sauce chunky. I don't, but I compromise for the husband.
1 tbsp of tomato paste
olive oil
salt and pepper

1) Cook bacon for a few minutes. Once it begins to crisp, add sausage and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
2) Add tomato paste, cook for a couple of minutes, and add pepper flakes, artichokes and olives.
3) Pour in the tomato sauces, season with salt, pepper and dried herbs.
4) Let sauce simmer for 15 minutes of so. Taste, adjust seasoning. Add fresh basil after turning off heat.

Make sure to top your pasta with cheese, and enjoy! It's a quick sauce, taking about 30 minutes, but tastes like you've been cooking it all day.

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