Croxetti with Wild Asparagus

Liguria may be famous for its beautiful landscapes that enchanted no lesser characters than Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, but it does not stop there – it is also one of the most culinary rich places I ever visited.

Upon my last visit, some of the rather unique pastas of the place captured my curiosity; croxetti – a round embossed pasta – ranging amongst those that I just had to bring home.

And when I now found some wild asparagus on the market, I thought they might go together rather well…

Sanni

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
  • 200 grams of croxetti (aka corzetti, a type of Ligurian stamped pasta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cervia or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 bunch of wild asparagus
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese
  • freshly ground pepper, salt
  • 2 tablespoons of ground parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:

  1. Roast the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for approximately five minutes, toss occasionally. Then set aside.
    Bring approximately 1 litre of water and the Cervia salt (or sea salt) to the boil.
    In the meantime, melt the butter over medium to low heat in a non-stick frying pan.
    Tip the croxetti into the boiling water and boil until al dente (usually 8-10 minutes).
    While the pasta is boiling, fry the wild asparagus – sugar added – in the butter; season it with freshly ground pepper and salt. Toss frequently.
    After approximately five minutes, add a squeeze of lemon and the ricotta cheese and toss until well mixed. Finally (shortly before serving), add the freshly ground parsley.
    When al dente, strain the pasta and distribute to pre-warmed dishes.
    Decorate the wild asparagus on top. Sprinkle with ground parmesan and the roasted pine nuts. Season with some more freshly ground pepper to taste.

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