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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: There’s more than one way to cook an asparagus

Well, it’s high-on asparagus season, better get your “grass” recipes made soon.

I always see good recipes for asparagus, but I am usually so bent on getting enough while it is in season, I never seem to make the recipe. I just eat the asparagus cooked the simple ways: steamed, grilled or roasted. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

But this year, I have new determination. The reason being, I saw a new asparagus recipe from Joanne Weir on her “Cooking Confidence” TV show. It looked so good I Googled it and printed out a copy for you and myself.

Are you ready? It’s Fettuccine and Asparagus Ribbons with Lemon Cream. Sounds good, right?

Here is the basic recipe if you can pull yourself away from the usual methods.

Cut 2 inches off the tips of 2 pounds of washed, woody-ends-trimmed-off asparagus and cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the asparagus pieces until almost tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately and set aside.

With the remaining asparagus spears, shave as much of the asparagus as you can with a vegetable peeler into long ribbons. Reserve the shavings in a bowl. Chop up what remains of the centers of the asparagus and place them in a saucepan with 2 cups chicken stock. Place over medium heat and simmer until the asparagus is very tender and pale colored and only ½ cup of chicken stock remains, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon each of lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt. Reserve.

Cook 1 pound of fresh (not dried) fettuccine, al dente. Drain. Add the shaved asparagus, cooked asparagus tips, chicken stock with asparagus and a big handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toss together with some of the crème fraîche. Serve immediately garnished with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve the remaining Parmigiano separately at the table.

I will be cooking this recipe this weekend — I swear on a bunch of asparagus. If that goes well, maybe I will cook the asparagus ricotta ravioli recipe I squirreled away during last year’s asparagus season.

— Lucy

Thanks for the recipe you gave me, Luce. I made it Wednesday night.

Only I lost my vegetable peeler, so I chopped the spears into ½-inch pieces and quickly boiled them in a shallow pan with the tips.

Only I didn’t have any fresh fettuccine, so I boiled some dried fettuccine.

Only I didn’t have lemons, so I used my homemade preserved lemons, chopped up.

Only I didn’t have any crème fraîche, so I just tossed the drained pasta with some leftover heavy cream from the fridge.

Only I had to throw in some fennel pollen. Just because. Also some saffron threads. Just because.

Other than those few changes it was just like the recipe you gave me.

Thanks.

— Lou

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