Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Pesto Sauce

“Asparagus is one of the greatest dainties of the spring” wrote Richard Bradley in his 1719 New Improvements of Planting and Gardening.
Asparagus is a source of folic acid and vitamin A, an appetite stimulant, and a diuretic, in addition to their alleged aphrodisiac properties, by which in the 800’s French couples customarily had 3 helpings of asparagus before their wedding night.

There are different types available: white asparagus, which grows underground, purple asparagus, with a more bitter, fruity taste (this is actually what white asparagus turns into once it “pokes through” the ground enough to be exposed to light), and green asparagus, which sprouts in under sunlight, and is characterized by a sweeter taste.

Here is a creamy seasonal (and might as well say aphrodisiac) recipe, fragrant with asparagus and lemon juice.

You will need:

Let’s Cook!

Wash the asparagus and simmer them in salted water for 15/20 minutes, till tender. Drain them thoroughly, cut off the tips (and set them aside), and cut the stems into small chunks. Using a blender, prepare the pesto by pureeing the cut stems together with grated Parmigiano cheese, garlic clove, pine nuts, LIMMI lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper while adding AULUS extra-virgin olive oil a little at a time.

Cook the pasta, drain it and toss it with the just prepared pesto sauce, the asparagus tips, and a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese.

Speaking of asparagus…

If you have some leftover or in the fridge, try them with this delicate lemon sauce