Italian Recipes

Pasta with asparagus & parmesan fonduta

April 7, 2021

Spring in Michigan is always interesting. Last week we had temperatures in the thirties with snow flurries, and this week our temperatures have risen to the eighties. Spring is my favorite time of year as I love bringing my garden to life when a green blanket moves over our backyard garden. I also like spring vegetables like small peas, tender beans, and thin asparagus stalks. If we were in Italy this spring, as we usually are, I could add various artichokes to this list, but unfortunately they are not available locally here in Michigan. However, I enjoy many different dishes made with spring asparagus, like this elegant yet easy-to-prepare pasta dish.

This simple sauce comes together in just a few minutes and is made thick and creamy with egg yolks, while the creme fraiche gives it a subtle flavor. Think of the sauce as a hearty pudding. Creme Fraiche (pronounced "Krem Fresh") is a version of sour cream with a higher fat content that is suitable for cooking as it is less prone to curdling when cooked. A double boiler is perfect for making this sauce. However, if you don't have one, you can place a metal or ceramic bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. However, the bowl should not touch the surface of the water, just sit on top. Use freshly grated parmesan cheese and thin, crispy asparagus stalks for the best results. This sauce goes very well with fresh and dried pasta. I used dried linguine for my pasta because I prefer dried pasta to fresh ones. To serve this pasta, just add some cracked black pepper. The sauce contains a lot of cheese, so no additional cheese is needed. The asparagus is cooked in pasta water. Just let the asparagus fall with the pasta for the last three minutes of cooking. However, if you prefer, you can blanch the asparagus separately.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2021

ingredients

  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups of creme fraiche

  • 5 ounces of freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 pound of tender thin asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch diagonal pieces

  • 3/4 pound pasta like spaghetti or linguine

Serve:

manual

    1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.
    2. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a double boiler or a small saucepan.
    3. In the top of the water bath or in a small metal or ceramic bowl that fits on the pot, whisk the creme fraiche, egg yolks, grated cheese and salt together.
    4. Place the pasta in the pasta pot and cook according to the directions in the package.
    5. While the noodles are cooking, place the top of the double boiler or bowl on the boiling water, turn the heat to simmer, and whisk the mixture for about 6 to 8 minutes until thickened.
    6. Keep the sauce warm and whisk from time to time.
    7. When the pasta has to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, add the asparagus to the pasta water.
    8. Finish cooking the pasta, drain and return to the pan with the asparagus.
    9. Pour the sauce over the pasta, then toss it over to completely coat the pasta.
    10. Serve the pasta in individual bowls with freshly cracked black pepper.

Remarks

Based on a recipe from River Cafe.

Nutritional information:

Yield: 4th

Serving size: 1

Amount per serving:

Calories: 1132Total fat: 71 gSaturated fatty acids: 34gTrans fat: 2gUnsaturated fat: 30 gCholesterol: 331 mgSodium: 1760 mgCarbohydrates: 78 gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 47 g

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