Despite the fact that nowadays you can find just about any fruit or vegetable at any time of the year, the traditional Italian recipes indicative of the Easter season utilize the products that, at one time, could only be found in this particular part of the year. Vegetables like Asparagus and Artichokes are used often either as condiments to a pasta dish, like this asparagus pasta recipe, or as contorni (vegetable dishs) which accompany the secondo (meat dish).

Asparagus pasta recipeThe asparagus was cultivated and used in the Mediterranean region by the ancient Egyptians and there are historical references and manuals on how to cultivate the asparagus left by the Roman empire from as early as 200 BC.

Here are a couple of ways to use these vegetables with pasta.

Pasta agli Asparagi  (Asparagus pasta recipe)

Serves 4 people

400 grams (16 oz) long or short pasta  (or crepes)
10 oz asparagus spears (fresh or frozen)
4 tablespons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cup milk
Meat cube
Grated parmesan

Note: also great as a filler for crepes

Pasta agli Asparagi Preparation

asparagus pasta recipeBoil asparagus in salted water till tender. Cut off tips and set aside. Put rest in cuisinart and cream. In saucepan make bechemel by melting
2 tbsp. butter and add 2 tbsp. flour (should be pasty). Take off fire and add milk all at once. Return to flame, add meat cube and stir till thick and bubbly. Add asparagus cream to bechemel, mix well and keep warm.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Return to kettle over low flame and toss with asparagus cream, 2 tbsp. butter and grated parmesan. Use the reserved asparagus tips as decoration. Serve with additional parmesan. 

(or, if making crepes: fill the crepes with the asparagus cream, use a little of the cream to pass over the top of the crepes, reserved asparagus tips, grated parm and butter slices over top. Bake for 15-20 min.)

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