Griddling asparagus is a simple way to make this spring vegetable shine. Here it serves as a fresh-tasting accompaniment to pasta with a lemon and herb crunch.
Equipment and preparation: For this recipe you will need a pasta machine fitted with the pasta cutter of your choice.
For the pasta, place the flour and eggs into a food processor and pulse until well combined and the mixture comes together as a dough. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Flour the pasta machine. Cut the pasta dough in half and pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting. Repeat this process, decreasing the roller setting down grade by grade with each pass until the dough is thin enough to pass through your cutter.
Add your cutter to the pasta machine and pass the pasta through the machine to make your chosen shape. Dust the pasta with a little semolina.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough, then place the shapes onto a plate and use immediately or refrigerate overnight.
To cook the pasta, in a large pan of salted boiling water cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and keep warm.
For the griddled asparagus, preheat a griddle pan and drizzle olive oil over the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the asparagus and, once marked with bars from the griddle pan, add the butter, a little of the pasta water and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the lemon and breadcrumb topping, heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the breadcrumbs, lemon, garlic and thyme and cook until the crumbs are golden-brown. Just before serving, stir through the chopped parsley.
To serve, remove the asparagus from the pan, cut into pieces and add back into the pan. Add to the pasta and toss until all the pasta is coated. Add a couple of tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture and toss together.
Serve in warm bowls topped with the remaining breadcrumb mixture.
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