Monday, January 21, 2013

Fettuccine With Asparagus, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Mascarpone

I had some Mascarpone I had bought and didn't use it for what it was purchased for, so I found this recipe in the ever growing to try file. I love asparagus and I love Mascarpone so I was pretty sure I would like it; the boys were an entirely different matter. It was a fairly easy process to make and it came together in a reasonable amount of time. Also, I'm pretty sure it could be prepared ahead of time up until the baking and then baked when you want to eat. You would need to increase the cook time. I would cover it with foil and bake 15-20 minutes, remove the foil and bake like the instructions say. The boy, did not care for it. Asparagus is not something he enjoys. My husband, also not a huge fan of asparagus, loved it. He went back for thirds! The lemon was nice and that was the only thing I worried might be off with the fish. The only thing we thought less then great was the consistency of the sauce. It was not like a sauce; it was more like a thin coating stuck on the pasta. It kinda felt like you were eating pasta with no sauce. Thankfully it didn't taste like it. I followed the instructions exactly and even with my husband digging into it 3 times, it's only half gone! It serves at least 6! I would also like a bit more asparagus. I used one bunch but didn't weigh it. In retrospect, I bet it was a one pound bunch. Double would have been perfect. It's not pretty looking, but it was tasty and that is what counts in the end:).   I couldn't find the  Grana Padano cheese called for, but the Internet said you could substitute parm so I did

Fettuccine With Asparagus, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Mascarpone
2 Tbs. olive oil more for the pan
2 Lb medium-thick asparagus ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces on an
8 scallions (whites and tender greens) cut in thin rounds
Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
Juice from 1 lemon (about 4 Tbs.)
A few sprigs fresh thyme or savory leaves chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 Cup whole milk
1 Cup mascarpone
1 Cup grated Grana Padano cheese (or Parmesan)
Small pinch cayenne
Generous pinch ground allspice
3/4 Cup homemade breadcrumbs
1 Lb Fettuccine (oops I used linguine)
1/2 Cup pine nuts lightly toasted

Heat the oven to 450F. 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 minutes. 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; saute 1 minute to soften. Add the asparagus and saut 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 minute, 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 minutes. A thin sauce is what you're after. Cook it until it has the consistency
of heavy cream.

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 minutes. Serve right away.~

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lot of great flavors! Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Valley Chow