Friday, August 24, 2007

Bow Tie pasta with asparagus, almonds and browned butter

1 tablespoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
3 large cloves garlic , sliced thin
2 medium shallots , sliced into thin rings
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme , chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus and cook, without stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add garlic, shallots, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes; transfer asparagus mixture to large plate and set aside. Return skillet to high heat and add butter; when foaming subsides, add almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are toasted and browned and butter is nutty and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Off heat, add vinegar and thyme; return asparagus to skillet and toss to coat. Add asparagus mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, passing remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan separately.

*In a pinch you can use powdered parm, but I wouldn't substitute onions for the shallots. Also I have used chopped almonds instead of sliced and it was fine, and dried thyme works great too.

1 comment:

The Carlii said...

Just tried this. Leave it to Abby to come up with something fabulous! I used zucchini instead, no sherry, added chicken and reduced the butter slightly. Chad loved it! Thanks, we'll definitely make it again!