Posted by: Anja | August 31, 2010

Asparagus in summer?

Making asparagus in summer is not something I would do in Germany, because the best asparagus can be found during season, which is in May. Anyway, I am not in Germany anymore and here the system works a bit different. There are basically no fresh herbs, but only a few and you seriously have to think about using them, because they sometimes taste weird. I bought fresh parsley in my first week here and it’s something that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. It tasted a bit like dish liquid. But they have green asparagus! And it tastes good!

As a result, I started making lots of asparagus dishes during the last weeks. I made the goat cheese and asparagus pasta, I invented an asparagus risotto and I made this dish, a ricotta and asparagus combination. I really like mixing cheese with vegetables and my fridge currently contains five different kinds of cheese, so I guess I’ll be posting a couple of these recipes soon. But first this one! I am generally not such a big fan of ricotta, because it has not much taste (at least I think so), but it’s a good basic cheese if you want to have the focus on other ingredients of the dish. If you remember the Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi or the Ricotta Pancakes with sautéed apples, the focus always was on a different ingredient, but ricotta complements those ingredients to make the dish complete.

Asparagus & Ricotta Pasta
idea adapted from

150g green asparagus
80g ricotta
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of parmesan
150g spaghetti
black pepper

First step: Heat water in a large pot to a boil and salt it when heated. Add the spaghetti and let them cook undisturbed until two minutes (if you use thin asparagus, five minutes if you have thick asparagus) before they are through. I usually use those spaghetti that take 8-10 minutes to be done.

Second step: While the pot is heating up, cut the asparagus into pieces. Each piece should be 1-2cm long. Throw away the woody ends. Separately, grate the parmesan.

Third step: When the spaghetti have been cooked a couple of minutes (exact time described above), throw in the asparagus and let cook until finished. To evaluate whether your asparagus is through, just try a bit. If it’s not through, wait another 1-2 minutes – it won’t hurt the spaghetti! With a cup, get approximately 30ml of the salted spaghetti water and put aside. Drain the asparagus and spaghetti.

Fourth step: Use the garlic to coat the sides of your now empty pot. Just cut the garlic into two parts and and rub over the pot’s surface with it. Add the spaghetti, asparagus, ricotta, water, olive oil and half of the parmesan. Combine everything and use salt and pepper to taste. Put into a bowl and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. Serve directly.

This recipe makes enough pasta for one person. I actually thought that it was a really good dish, because it is comparatively light, which is a good thing with temperatures of 30°C outside. I’d recommend to just try it and judge for yourself. ;)


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