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Shaved asparagus bucatini

Angela Clutton’s May 2021 recipe for members of the Borough Market Cookbook Club

Ingredients

  • 500g asparagus spears (typically, 2 bundles)
  • 400g bucatini
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus optional extra
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped

Method

Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. While that’s coming up to boiling point, prepare the asparagus by removing the woody ends and using a vegetable peeler or mandolin to shave the spears.

Put the pasta in to cook. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and add the breadcrumbs. Stir round for a minute or perhaps two – just until the breadcrumbs have browned nicely. Transfer to a cool bowl, mix in the grated zest of the lemon and some salt flakes.

Check the pasta a minute before the packet’s cooking time. When it is just about tender, remove a jug’s worth of its cooking water. Drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pan, quickly adding the shaved asparagus too. Stir round over a low heat, adding pasta cooking-water in stages so that it emulsifies but isn’t too liquid.

Divide between serving bowls, sprinkling over the breadcrumbs and chopped mint. Give it a good grinding of black pepper, add a little extra oil if you feel you’d like to, and serve.