Asparagus Pasta With Toasted Bread Crumbs, Lemon, And Garlic
Here is a pretty simple pasta dish that always goes over well in my house. I like preparing this when my local grocery has some nice looking skinny asparagus.
2 lbs asparagus
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb angel hair or spaghetti
Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta. Cut off the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Cut the spears in half lengthwise (thicker spears should be quartered), then slice them on the bias into 1-inch pieces. Steam the asparagus until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Set the cooked asparagus aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast evenly, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the crumbs, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not let the bread crumbs burn. Set the toasted bread crumbs aside.
Heat the oil in the empty skillet. Add the garlic and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, and salt and cook for 30 seconds. Add the asparagus to the pan and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary with salt and pepper.
While preparing the sauce, cook and drain the pasta, do not rinse. Toss the hot pasta with the asparagus sauce and the toasted bread crumbs. Mix well and transfer portions to warm pasta bowls. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.