White Asparagus Pasta is a great way to welcome spring! A fresh and sunny dish filled with soft white asparagus, some lemon zest, cream and a touch of parmesan.
White Asparagus Pasta is a great recipe to welcome spring. Asparagus is one of the first veggies that wants to come out in spring. Both the green and white kinds are actually the same, the only difference is the white ones never get to see the sun. They get picked up from the soil with the help of a sharp tool preventing photosynthesis. Its taste is more delicate and buttery and the texture softer than green ones.
Preparation of White Asparagus
The main difference in its preparation is that, unlike the green asparagus. You’ll need to peel its whole body (except the head) about twice. Because it’s covered with thick fibres which prevent the asparagus from getting tender. If it’s not peeled properly the asparagus will be stringy under the tooth because of all those fibres.
White asparagus is quite pricey so you’ll want to use every single bit of it. Clean your asparagus first and keep all the scraps from it, you can easily make a great purée or soup with it later.
How to choose your white asparagus
Unlike the green type, you want your white asparagus as thick as possible and as white as possible. If they turn light pink, it’s already late. The season is really short, in early spring, they pick it up. If you are lucky enough to grab a fresh bunch and want to experiment more with it, here are a few more ideas:
Unlike the green asparagus where you brake them to keep solely the tender part, with white ones you won’t need to do it this way. You’ll need to peel all that rough part out anyways, plus you don’t want to get rid of half the length for that price… right? So just cut about 2 or 3 cm max on the bottom of the asparagus then peel them from under the head to the end until the skin feels tender. Sometimes white asparagus are quite thick other times thin so you’ll have to adjust the amount you peel off. Touch the surface and if you feel it stringy keep peeling.
For highlighting the asparagus, I’ve done a smooth and lemony flavoured cream to highlight and enhance the delicate yet exquisite taste of white asparagus! The finishing touch is shaved parseman pieces and freshly ground black pepper. So simple, easy and yummy!
Can I use canned white asparagus for this recipe?
Answer: I would not recommend it, they mostly taste the brine and are saggy.
Could I use green asparagus instead of white ones?
Answer: Of course! They will taste stronger and have more of a crunch than the white ones. They are also easier to prepare.
Can I conserve this meal?
I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a eat on the spot kind of meal.
White Asparagus Pasta
- 420 g White Asparagus
- 200 g pasta of your choice (fusilli, penne, farfadelle, spaghetti, etc)
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 organic lemon (it's zest and juice)
- salt and pepper
- Start by cleaning next cut the end of the asparagus (2cm off the edge) and then peel them (check details above).
- Cut the rest of the asparagus into 3 or 4 to make small pieces.
- Cook them in a big pot of boiling water (use the same water later for the pasta) until cooked about 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your asparagus).
- Take the asparagus out with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Use the same water, add salt and cook the pasta in it.
- Add the cream to a small saucepan with the zest of a lemon, salt and pepper and slowly cook it until warm, it should not boil. (trick: when you see the first bubble pop, stop the heat)
- Add the white asparagus to the cream sauce to keep them warm.
- Drain the pasta, put it back in the big pot, add half the juice of the lemon and the cream sauce and mix.