Pappardelle With Lemon and Asparagus
1 lb. pencil-thin asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. fresh or dried pappardelle (wide egg noodles)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Julienned zest of 1 lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese
Trim and discard the tough asparagus ends. Cut remaining asparagus into 3 or 4 even pieces on the diagonal. In a non-aluminum kettle of lightly salted boiling water, cook the asparagus for 2 minutes or until just crisp. Blanch in cold running water and drain.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cream. Simmer and stir occasionally while preparing the pappardelle.
Add the pappardelle to a kettle of salted boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the blanched asparagus. Add the hot cream mixture, and stir in the lemon juice. Season with pepper. Cook the pappardelle until al dente. Drain well.
Add the sauce to the pasta, and toss well. Divide among 4 warm soup plates and sprinkle with julienned zest. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.