For as long as I can remember, my favorite way to dress pasta is with a big ol’nub of butter. That’s it. Pasta and butter. Maybe some grated cheese. Maybe. That’s how I make it when I’m by myself.
I believe this started way back in childhood when my grandmother would take leftover spaghetti and fry it up with butter in her cast iron skillet. Not quite spaghetti. Kinda, sort of, almost a pancake. If I were a betting woman, I’d put my money down on this being the spark of my love of pasta and butter.
But sometimes the refrigerator needs to be cleaned out and you’re faced with asparagus and mushrooms that are on their last legs. And sometimes when that happens, you just happen to have spaghetti on the menu. So instead of having pasta and a salad, you incorporate the salad into your pasta. At least, that’s how it went down at my house.
So now that I’ve stumbled into the wonderful world of pasta with mushrooms and asparagus, I may have to plan a return visit.
Pasta with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Adapted from Angry Asian Creations
BAH Note: If you happen to have a fancy finishing olive oil in your pantry, you’ll want to pull it out for this. And if that fancy finishing olive oil just happens to have been kissed with meyer lemon, even better. To really fancypants it up, use any of Cipriani’s pastas. They are absolutely sublime and cook in three minutes.
- 1/2 pound pappardelle pasta
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- grated parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat.
While the water comes to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms until they release their liquid and begin to brown. Add the asparagus and cook until it is done to your liking. Add the lemon juice and zest, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Remove the pan from the heat while you cook the pasta.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta in with the vegetables and add cooking water if the pasta starts to stick together. Taste for seasoning again and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve garnished with grated parmesan and a bit of finishing oil if you have some.