Pasta with Asparagus and Mint

pasta with asparagus and mint

Pasta with asparagus and mint – is this a combination you’ve ever thought of? Here’s a nice little vegetarian supper for two. It is a quick dish, with a few tricks to enhance the flavor. The asparagus is chopped small, to cook quickly for freshest flavor. The cream is heated to almost boiling, and steeped with crushed garlic, so that the flavor will be carried throughout the finished dish via the sauce.

This is one of the ‘essence of springtime’ dishes in my kitchen. Spring means asparagus in Michigan, and May is its month. Asparagus is one of the earliest of the local vegetables, and we try to work it into as many meals as we can.

I like to combine asparagus with mint from my garden in this quick cooking pasta dish. You could use just about any herbs in this – oregano, basil, sorrel, mint, parsley; alone or in combination.

 

tricks for quick cooking

First of all, set a large pot of water over high heat, and bring it to a boil. You’ll be using two burners: one for the pasta, and one for the sauce. The pasta is the part that takes the longest. You know how to cook the pasta, so just proceed over on that burner, and I’ll coach you through the sauce. Drain the pasta whenever it’s ready!

steep the cream

Smash 1 clove of the garlic, and put it in a clean mug or measuring cup with the cream. Cover it tightly, and microwave in 30 second bursts until the cream is very hot but not quite boiling. Be careful, the cream will expand as it heats. Let the hot cream sit while you proceed.

chop the vegetables

Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus. Chop the asparagus into small pieces, so they’ll cook quickly. Finely chop one clove garlic. Mince the mint and any other herbs you’re using.

assemble the sauce

Heat olive oil and butter in a separate large saucepan or skillet, and sauté the chopped asparagus, garlic, and herbs. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus softens. Strain and add the flavored cream – discard the steeped garlic, you don’t need it anymore. Bring the asparagus/cream sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cream starts to thicken – this will take about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

drain pasta and combine

Drin the pasta thoroughly. Add about half the Parmesan cheese to the asparagus/cream sauce and stir well. Add the drained pasta and toss to combine.

Serve at once, with extra Parmesan on the side if you like.

pasta with asparagus and mint

Pasta with Asparagus and Mint

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegetarian, asparagus, serves 2, pasta, herbs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Essence of spring: early asparagus with mint and pasta.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus ¾ lb, or 350 g
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint 5-6 g
  • 4 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream 60 ml
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 ml
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted or very very soft 25 g
  • ounces pasta (spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle) 125 g
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 50 g

Instructions

  • First of all, set a large pot of water over high heat, and bring it to a boil. You’ll be using two burners: one for the pasta, and one for the sauce. The pasta is the part that takes the longest. You know how to cook the pasta, so just proceed over on that burner, and I’ll coach you through the sauce. Drain the pasta whenever it’s ready!
  • Smash 1 clove of the garlic, and put it in a clean mug or measuring cup with the cream. Cover it tightly, and microwave in 30 second bursts until the cream is very hot but not quite boiling. Be careful, the cream will expand as it heats. Let the hot cream sit while you proceed.
  • Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus. Chop the asparagus into small pieces, so they’ll cook quickly. Finely chop one clove garlic. Mince the mint and any other herbs you’re using.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a separate large saucepan or skillet, and sauté the chopped asparagus, garlic, and herbs. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus softens. Strain and add the flavored cream – discard the steeped garlic, you don’t need it anymore. Bring the asparagus/cream sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cream starts to thicken – this will take about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the pasta thoroughly. Add about half the Parmesan cheese to the asparagus/cream sauce and stir well. Add the drained pasta and toss to combine.
    Serve at once, with extra Parmesan on the side if you like.

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Welcome

I’m Maurita Plouff, and I write about cooking and preserving the local harvest in Southeast Michigan. Any recipe you find here is something I have cooked myself, and enjoyed, and think you might like too. I invite you to try the recipes, and leave comments.

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