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Yesterday I bought a tonne of asparagus, so obviously there was only one option for lunch today: say hello to my Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad. Heavy with lemon, pecorino cheese, toasted pine nuts and of course plenty of raw shaved asparagus (if you’ve never tried raw asparagus before do – it is fresher, nuttier, and tastes like a cross between cooked asparagus and green peas) it is the perfect late-spring treat for lunch, or makes a perfect side dish for this weekends barbecue – it goes really well with chicken, either simply grilled or amped up with a lemon and honey marinade and threaded on skewers for maximum char.
You can make most of it ahead, but don’t add in the shaved asparagus any more than 5 minutes before serving because it will wilt in the lemon dressing and lose some of it’s crunch in a similar way to raw courgette.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Sure, just leave out the pecorino cheese and add a little extra salt seasoning to taste!
A zesty, lemon-heavy Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe that makes a perfect springtime lunch or side dish for barbecued chicken.
170g (6 oz) pasta bows
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 1/2 large lemon
15g (1/2 oz) finely grated pecorino
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
100g (3 1/2 oz) asparagus spears
large handful toasted pine nuts
Cook the pasta as per the packets instructions in a pan of salted water. Once it is tender, rinse it under a cold tap to cool it down and rinse off any excess starch. Set aside to drain really, really well.
In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon, cheese, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Toss in the pasta until well coated, and set aside for the bows to absorb the dressing.
Meanwhile, snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus spears and using a very sharp knife thinly slice them along the diagonal.
Toss the shaved asparagus and the toasted pine nuts with the pasta, season to taste with more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed, and serve immediately.
Pecorino cheese is not vegetarian, so use a vegetarian Italian hard cheese instead if you’re serving this to strictly meat-free guests.
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