Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, more for the pan
- 2 lbs medium-thick asparagus, ends trimmed,cut in 1 inch pieces on an angle
- 8 scallions, cut in thin rounds (whites and tender greens)
- 2 finely grated lemons, zest of
- 1 lemon, juice of (about 4 Tbs.)
- 3 -5 sprigs fresh thyme or 3 -5 sprigs fresh savory, leaves chopped
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 1 cup grated grana padano or 1 cup parmesan cheese or 1 cup romano cheese
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 3⁄4 cup homemade breadcrumbs
- 1 lb fresh fettuccine or 1 lb dry fettuccine
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Heat the oven to 400F or 450°F (Note the slightly higher oven temperature when baking fresh egg pasta.) Lightly coat a large, shallow baking dish with olive oil.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the asparagus and blanch until tender but with a slight bite left to it, about 2 minute Scoop it from the water with a large slotted spoon, set it in a colander, and run it under cold water to preserve its green color.
- Drain well.
- Keep the water boiling for the pasta.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the scallions; sauté 1 minute to soften.
- Add the asparagus and sauté briefly, about 1 minute Take the skillet off the heat and add half the zest, the lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper; mix well and reserve.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and flour over medium heat, whisking until smooth.
- Cook for 1 min.
- ,whisking constantly, to cook away the raw taste of the flour.
- Add the milk and cook, whisking all the while, until it comes to a boil.
- Lower the heat a bit and cook until smooth and lightly thickened (about the consistency of heavy cream), 3 or 4 minute.
- Turn off the heat and add the mascarpone, the remaining lemon zest, and 1/2 cup of the grana padano, whisking until the mixture is fairly smooth (there will be a slight grainy texture from the cheese).
- Season with the cayenne, allspice, and more salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining grana padano.
- Season with salt and pepper and add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Mix well.
- Return the cooking water to a full boil and cook the fettuccine, leaving it slightly underdone.
- Drain well.
- Return the fettuccine to the cooking pot.
- Add the mascarpone sauce, the pine nuts, and the asparagus with all its juices.
- Toss and taste for seasoning.
- Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake uncovered until bubbling and golden, 15 to 20 minute Serve right away.
Very delicious flavor. Mine turned out a bit dry like Kitchen Witch, next time I will do what she suggested and use half the pasta (plenty for my family of four). Would also be good with a nice grilled chicken or shrimp to round out the meal. The whole family loved the flavor. Thanks for a nice change of pace!
This took some time to make and I had a lot of dishes to do but it had a great flavor. Mine did turn out a bit on the dry side. I hope I can perk up the leftover with a smidgeon of cream poured on top. if I did it again, I would cut the amount of pasta and asparagus in half but keep the rest of the amounts the same. I think there were too many breadcrumbs. I did add a splash of limocello and garlic to the asparagus saute and I added some chicken in to make it a heartier one dish meal for the family. Really phenomenal flavors I will say. I am very full right now.