Monday, May 23, 2011

On The Menu: Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus

We belong to a wonderful CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture), The Hamlet Organic Garden, here on Long Island.  If you aren't familiar with CSA's... they are fabulous!  You purchase a share in a farm, and each week receive a portion of the farm's veggies.  Not only are you eating locally grown, fresh produce (which is healthy for you and the environment), supporting real family run farms, but also it forces you to expand your cooking repertoire.

To find a CSA in your area check out Local Harvest ...
"The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies."
Last weekend I visited our CSA and picked up some fresh asparagus.  We love asparagus and normally we broil it with some olive oil, salt, pepper and tons of garlic, and a squeeze of lemon when it is finished; but this week I decided to make something a little different.

I got the recipe from the April 2009 issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.

Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus

Course Salt and Ground Pepper
12 ounces of spaghetti
1 bunch (1 pound) of asparagus, tough ends removed, and shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 strips of lemon zest, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons of butter
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Add the asparagus and lemon zest to the pot; immediately drain the pasta mixture, and return to the pot.
Add the butter and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper, toss, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce.
Top with parmesan.

My Changes:
I added garlic, of course, since I add garlic to almost everything.  How much?  I probably added three cloves, minced, when I added the butter and lemon juice.  You can add garlic to your taste.
I also substituted  2 Tablespoons of olive oil, for two of the four Tablespoons of butter (just because we like to use olive oil).

To make the asparagus, all you do it shave it with a vegetable peeler.  What worked best for me was to hold the asparagus down on the counter and shave off pieces (vs. turning the asparagus like you do when peeling a carrot).

I am hoping to post more recipes this spring and summer using the veggies as the come into season.

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