Asparagus and walnut spaghetti

This asparagus and walnut spaghetti is super flavorful and adds lots of nutrients to our diet.

Central Italy, in particular the Appenini mountains, may be the place where this asparagus and walnut spaghetti was born. In the rich woods along the Appenino mountains walnuts are widely available as well as wild asparagus. This recipe is simple and yet delicious and can be made in less than 30minutes.

Asparagus and walnut spaghetti: health facts

Asparagus are a real powerhouse for our health. They provide not only good fibers but also vitamins and other nutrients that are helpful in fighting depression and mental health issues. Asparagus also helps in reducing blood pressure and improving digestion.

Walnuts are also known for their health benefits. The good fats are heart healthy and they too contain a lot of fibers. Walnuts, as asparagus, are also good in lowering blood pressure.

How to clean asparagus

It’s hard to tell by eye where the stem of the asparagus is tender, so the better way to remove the hard part is to snap it. Take the tip of the asparagus with one hand and with the other grab the hard end. Snap it with a firm gesture. It will broke at the exact point where the fibers are tender. Do not throw away the hard stems. You can make a broth for risotto with them, or for a soup.

The tips of the asparagus are very delicate and you can actually add them raw to your dish. I usually cook the bottom stems and add the top only at the end of the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 400gr asparagus
  • 100gr walnuts
  • 400gr spaghetti
  • 1 gralic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • grated pecorino cheese and parsley to garnish

How to prepare asparagus and walnut spaghetti

Step 1
Boil the spaghetti following my basic recipe on how to boil spaghetti and other pasta.

Step 2 
While the spaghetti are cooking, clean and cut the asparagus into roundels. Keep the top end aside. Put a large pane on low heat, add the oil and the whole garlic (you can add some chili flakes if you like). To give the oil some extra flavor, add some parsley stems. Let it cook for a minute then add the asparagus.

Asparagus spaghetti

Step 3
Add some salt to the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, remove a couple of spoons of asparagus and blend it with some of the pasta cooking water to make a cream. Add the nuts and cook for another 2/3 minutes.

Step 4
Remove the garlic clove, add the asparagus cream and mix. Then, before straining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water in a cup.

Add the asparagus tips to the pan and then the spaghetti. Stir fry for a minute or two. Add the pecorino and some parsley to garnish and serve. For extra flavor, you can add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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