The Aspargus Trauma

Yes, I do have a childhood trauma, with aspargus. And no, i'm not misspelling the Asperger Syndrom, although the fact that the name is so similar, might mean there's something wrong with the social behaviour of this vegetable...

I grew up in a little town, that is famous for its aspargus. We claim to have the best ones in the world, which I will not put to a debat here. But as my father likes them so much, and diversity not being his big strenght, i had to eat aspargus 3 or 4 times a week, during the whole season, as long as i can remember. I don't even eat Nutella as often!

Now, I've moved out of my parents' house about 10 years ago, and never ever, have i bought or prepared aspargus on my own. I kept on having some, on family sunday lunch, but that was it.

So yesterday while shopping, i really wonder what got into me, when i bought some green aspargus. Well first they looked all pretty, and than at home it's only white ones, or on very rare occasion purple ones that are served. So i wanted to be a rebel (without a cause) and try out the green ones.

In case this turned out not to be so good, i thought i'd rather make something i know i like with them, and that is homemade pasta. It's my new thing lately, it gives me yet, an other excuse to put my hands in dough. And as the traditional "mousseline" sauce was way to heavy, i made up some butter pesto to go with it.

You know what, this actually works, aspargus are not that bad afterall, the green ones have an earthiness to them that goes well with butter, and pasta just make it a more substancial meal. I might do some next year again, because let's remember: diversity is so much more fun!

Homemade Pasta

Serves 1

1 Egg
100gr of Flour
about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Mix the egg with the flour in a jar, until it has a crumble consistancy, put it on your working surface, and then starts the work out: you really have to knit the dough until it's smooth and shiny, which takes a good 10 minutes. Towards the end, I add the olive oil. One first spoon, and if the dough doesn't feel "elastic" enough, i add a second one.
Put in a cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

The work out is not quite done yet, because after the 30 minutes, if like me, you don't own a pasta machine, you're going to have to roll it out with our rolling pin, and it needs to be really thin, so this is going to take a while.
Add flour on the working surface, roll it out a bit, turn the paste about 25° clockwise, and roll out again, and so on and on... This makes the rolling out more even and helps you realise when you don't have enough flour, your dough will stick.

When it's thin enough, cut your pasta. I have a wavey cutter, but a knife will do. I went for a tagliatelle shape, because it's the easiest. Once cut, let them dry a little, i've spread mine on the rolling pin.
They will take about 4 to 5 minutes to be cooked in salted boiling water.

They are not perfect and even, but they are homemade! ;)

Green Aspargus with Pasta, Butter Pesto and Grilled Pine Nuts:

Serves 1

6 to 8 Green Asparguses
50gr of Butter
4 Fresh Leafs of Basil
4 Fresh Leafs of Minth
2 Tablespoon of Fresh Parsley
1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Pine Nuts
Sugar, Salt, Pepper

Leave the butter out for a while, so it's room temperatured. Chop the basil, parsley and minth into small pieces. With a fork mix it with the butter, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to your taste.

Aline your asparguses' head, cut a good part of the bottom, so they have all about the same size. Now I personnaly peal the aspargus a little, the dark green edge around it, i guess you don't have to, but that's how I chose to do it.
Tie them up, and put them in a pan of soft boiling water that has one teaspoon of salt, and one of sugar. Don't put the lid on, and to check if it's cooked, use the tip of the knife, it needs to get easily in the aspargus, mine took about 8 minutes, but they were small.

Drain them, place on the plate with the pasta and the butter pesto on top, spread a few pine nuts that you had previous grilled in a pan with no fat. And as we say here: a güata!

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