Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Ricotta

Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus

Seeing the first stalks of asparagus at the farmers market means Spring has sprung… and when they start to thin out, it means Summer is on its way. Asparagus is nearly all but gone in Southern California, but I managed to get my hands on some the other day and made this delicious and very quick dinner dish. Here’s to another day of Spring!

 

Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Ricotta

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 small shallot, diced small, 2 tablespoons

⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to seasoning

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

½ pound angel hair pasta

½ pound asparagus, bottom of stems trimmed, stalks sliced into1/8-inch rounds, tips kept whole

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoons whole milk ricotta, drained *

 

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt.

Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”). 30 seconds before pasta is finished, add asparagus to the pot.

After 30 seconds drain the pasta and asparagus, without rinsing, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water.

Return pasta and asparagus to the pot and add the olive oil, parsley and contents of the small bowl. Mix to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the pasta, if needed. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice.

Divide onto plates and top with a dollop of ricotta. Finish the dish with a touch of freshly ground black pepper (over the ricotta) and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

* Have you tried Angelo and Franco ricotta? It is made in downtown LA (they sell it at Whole Foods in Los Angeles). If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend it – it’s creamy, thick and the taste is pure heaven!

 

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