- 1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 1 tsp of finely grated, fresh lemon zest
- 1/4 of Glasses & Grapes Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 lb of Penne pasta
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cut asparagus into 1-inch or so pieces and put all tips aside for later use. Cook asparagus stems in 6 quarts of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of salt until very tender, approximately 7 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer into a colander. Keep the water boiling and rinse the items in colander under cold water. Drain asparagus well and transfer to a food processor or blender.
Now cook your asparagus tips in the same boiling water until just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Again, use slotted spoon to transfer to a colander, keep water boiling in pot, and rinse the tips under colder water. Drain asparagus tips well.
Puree the asparagus stems with your finely grated, fresh lemon zest, Urban Olive Oils & Balsamics Meyer Lemon olive oil OR Urban Olive Oils & Balsamics Lemon Pepper olive oil, and a 1/2 cup of asparagus cooking water. Transfer sauce to a 4-quart saucepan.
Cook pasta in boiling asparagus water for about three-fourths of the recommended cooking time so you create a very al dente pasta. Reserve 2 cups of asparagus water and drain pasta.
Add pasta, asparagus tips, and 1/2 cup of reserved water to asparagus sauce and cook over high heat, stirring every 3-5 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente and sauce coats the pasta. Add more cooking water, 1/4 at a time, until sauce coats pasta but is still a little loose (the cheese will thicken it slightly).
Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Serve immediately while hot.