This delicious and delicate dish is simple to prepare especially when Asparagus is in Season. It doesn't take much to put together something fresh and delicious, just a willingness to learn and a desire to get it right. We made this in our Cooking class yesterday, along with fresh Fettuccine Pasta. What a great time!
We used the Academia Barilla's recommendation of 3oz of flour per person plus one egg. This worked very well. I actually amply fed 8 people with a 6 person measurement. I served a small amount to each person. There was enough for all.
Special note: If you do not want to make Fresh Pasta, be sure and purchase a good, quality Pasta Products. (Link on bottom) I recommend DiCecco.
Fresh pasta: 18 oz of flour, unbleached, all purpose is what we used. If your flour is sifted, sift it again. If you have the luxury of finding type OO flour, by all means use it. You will not have to sift anything, as it is milled fine and ready to go. Although the latter is what is traditionally used, you can get a fairly good result with unbleached, All purpose, depending on what kind of pasta you are attempting to make). Do not be discouraged, just follow the directions per video that I will attempt to link up here. We actually used the food processor method, but the same rules apply. Do not be in a hurry. Be sure and let your dough rest before proceeding.
Ingredients: 1plus 1/2 LB fresh Asparagus
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
One large skillet to fit and boil your Asparagus and make your cream sauce
One large pot to Boil your pasta filled with ample water
1 tablespoon salt for your pasta water
3/4 cup of cream (Heavy whipping cream variety)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup diced prosciutto
Some parsley if you wish to decorate your plate before serving (optional)
Clean your Asparagus: Remove your woodsy bottoms and discard. (You can not make soup with wood, so throw it away). With a vegetable peeler, peel away the edges about an inch. Your bottoms must be the same size as your tops. Disregard this if you are dealing with fresh Asparagus out of your backyard. This will not apply, as you will not loose as much in the cleaning process.
Our Asparagus were quite thick, store bought, so we lost quite a bit in the cleaning process to maintain good flavor.
Cook your Asparagus for 5-7 minutes in salted water enough to cover. Reserve several tablespoons of your cooking liquid in a cup. You will add this later to your cream sauce. Remove them to an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Dry with paper towels and cut into 1/4 inch pieces reserving the tips.
Method: Using the same skillet you cooked your Asparagus in, wipe it out with paper towels. Add two tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium. Add your garlic and Proscuitto and turn up the eat to medium/ high for one minute. Turn your heat back down some and saute your Prosciutto in the pan for 3-5 minutes. Your Prosciutto will be somewhat crispy with golden edges. Turn your heat up to medium and add your wine. Let the wine simmer away. Add your cream, salt and let reduce again until about a third of the liquid has evaporated. You will notice your sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
Add your Asparagus (excluding tips), into your pan with your cream and Prosciutto.
Cook your pasta. Remove 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid from your pasta water and add that to your pan. Turn your heat back on and reduce just a little. The starches from your pasta water will help thicken your sauce once again.
Drain your pasta at al dente, Return your pasta to your skillet and give it a good mix and toss. Add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve as a first course or serve it for dinner. Enjoy! Buon Appetito!