Farfalle with Roasted Asparagus, Lemon Cream, and Chives Recipe
Serves 4 to 6
Light and delicate, this luxurious pasta can serve as the perfect main course at a springtime lunch or as a starter before almost any meal, especially chicken or fish. Best made when asparagus is in season and full of flavor, but the brief roasting boosts the flavor any time of year. If chives are not on hand, substitute a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley or scallion greens or a tablespoon of minced fresh tarragon.
8 ounces (225 g) farfalle
1 large bunch of asparagus (1 to 1¼ pounds/450 to 560 g), tough ends trimmed, stalks cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 cup (4 ounces/115 g) mascarpone, at room temperature
½ cup (50 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Grated zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced chives.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until just al dente, 9 to 10 minutes, then drain the pasta.
Toss the asparagus with the olive oil in a bowl. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast until just tender but still bright green, 3 to 4 minutes.
In the same bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mascarpone, 1/3 cup (45 g) of the Parmigiano, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Scoop out 1/3 cup (80 ml) from the pasta water as it is cooking, and gradually whisk it into the bowl.
Scrape the sauce into the pasta pot. Add back the cooked pasta and toss over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook, or the egg may curdle.
Add the roasted asparagus, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the chives; toss to mix. Serve with the remaining Parmigiano and chives sprinkled on top.