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ASPARAGUS SAUCE WITH AND WITHOUT TOMATO

ASPARAGUS
Asparagi in bianco o rosso

Serves 4
Difficulty - Easy

In rosso, with tomatoes.

1/2 cup chopped wild asparagus (approximately 1" length)
2 cloves garlic
Pepperoncino (optional, to taste)
1 T extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
1 pound of fresh, peeled tomatoes, or 16 oz canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch or two of oregano (optional)
Fresh, minced parsley (optional)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Reggiano Parmigiano cheese (on the table)
Spaghetti or fresh fettucine

Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling, add the pasta.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the garlic until light brown. Add the asparagus - continue to saute until asparagus is slightly soft but not mushy.
Add tomatoes and cook until reduced to preferred consistency.
Salt and pepper to taste.
When the pasta is done (8-12 minutes for 'al dente'), drain and turn out into preheated serving dish. Pour on the sauteed asparagus, mix, and serve.

*NOTE: You can also use fresh, young domestic asparagus

In bianco- white sauce

1/2 C chopped (1 inch) wild asparagus (or use fresh, domestic asparagus)
1 - 2 cloves garlic
Pepperoncino (optional, to taste)
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
A pinch or two of oregano (optional)
Fresh, minced parsley (optional - can either be sauteed with garlic or sprinkled over pasta just before serving. Experiment!)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Reggiano Parmigiano cheese
Spaghetti or fresh fettucine

Bring a large pot of water to boiling, add TBS of cooking salt, and throw in the pasta.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the garlic until light brown. Add optional herbs.
Add the asparagus - continue to saute until asparagus is slightly soft - not mushy.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When the pasta is done, drain and turn out into preheated serving dish. Pour on the sauteed asparagus, mix, pour on the cheese and mix again. Add a TBS or two of the water used to cook the pasta if too dry. Serve

alternate method: 'pan finish' - effective with white sauces including cheese, as ingredients are hotter when mixed.
Cook the pasta as above.
Heat the oil in a frying pan LARGE enough to hold ingredients AND pasta, and saute the garlic until light brown.
Add the asparagus - continue to saute until asparagus is slightly soft - not mushy.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When the pasta is done, drain and turn into frying pan containing prepared ingredients (heat still on), mix, add cheese, mix again and serve. Add a TBS or two of the water used to cook the pasta if too dry.

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