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Bucatini with Prosciutto, Asparagus and Lemon, Paired with Rosé

As the weather starts to heat up, I like to make light pasta dishes that speak to the season. Fresh asparagus (remember the chickpea and shaved asparagus salad) and lemon come together in this dish, which is perfect served for lunch or dinner and pairs nicely with a crisp rosé. Bucatini is the best noodle to soak up and express the bounty of the season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus (see notes below on slicing asparagus)
  • 8 slices prosciutto, cut into ribbons
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan reggiano and a little extra for grating
  • 2T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta

First make an asparagus puree that will act as the sauce. Bring a pot of water to a boil while slicing the asparagus on the diagonal. Reserve the tips of the asparagus. Drop the stalk pieces into the boiling water and boil until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve the water. When the water comes back to a boil drop the asparagus tips in for a quick blanch, 2-3 minutes. Remove the tips, again reserving the water. Immerse the tips in an ice bath to retain their vibrant color.

Combine the stalk pieces of asparagus, juice of lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender and pulse to a creamy but thick texture. You can add a little of the asparagus water to thin this out a little. Reserve puree for use later.

Bring your asparagus water back to a boil and add your pasta. Bucatini will take a little longer than spaghetti as it is a thicker pasta with a small hole in the center. Cook to package directions until al dente.

While your pasta is cooking, fry your prosciutto in a pan. When it's almost crisp, add in the asparagus tips.

Add the drained pasta directly to the pan and toss.

Before serving, add a dollop of the asparagus puree and grate fresh parmesan on top.

The saltiness of the prosciutto mixed with the lemon, fresh asparagus and parmesan will bring a springtime sensation to your palate!

Buon Appetito!