It’s a good weekend for pasta. You know how I know? Every weekend is a good weekend for pasta.
If there’s also a couch involved in the weekend pasta plans… game over. Consider me done!
There are really great things happening in this big bowl of weekend pasta.
It’s Spring and we’re taking full advantage. Asparagus, yes. It’s even boiled with the pasta so laziness isn’t an excuse. Fresh herbs and lemon brighten the whole deal into oblivion. Olive oil… the good kind that you actually want to eat instead of butter.
We’re adding pistachios too because I’ve just discovered that Pistachios Crusted Asparagus is the best thing ever and the two should always and forever be paired together.
Lastly we’re adding mega special Bottarga. Have you ever tried this stuff?
Bottarga is salted and cured fish roe. Yea… get into it. In this preparation the Bottarga is grated into tiny flakes. It’s fishy and super salty and takes the place of Parmesan cheese in this pasta. So much flavor! It’s unique and special.
Actually wait… what’s so special about this Bottarga is that is was handmade by my friend Jill in NYC. It’s love, and gorgeous grated Bottarga can also be yours. I’m already plotting sprinkling my eggs tomorrow with Bottarga. This obsession has taken root.
Ok now… let’s pasta.
Consider this pasta a dump-and-toss situation. You’ll need a large bowl, a big ol’ spoon, and a cat that wants to eat any rogue mozzarella balls that fly over the edge of the bowl and onto the floor.
I like this pasta best served at a warm room temperature, extra lemon, extra chili flakes.
The Botttarga is sprinkled onto the pasta just before serving. It’s sprinkled with reverence and thanks to the friends that work so hard to make it. The Bottarga adds the perfect salty balance to the bright herbs and earth asparagus. It’s all very well done. Everything you deserve for pasta weekend.
I love you! Happy Friday!
Lemon and Asparagus Pasta with Pistachios and Mozzarella
1/2 pound dried curly pasta (I used Cavatappi pasta)
1 pound asparagus, chopped into large pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping cup small mozzarella balls, sliced in half
1 handful fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 small handful fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 to 2 lemons (depending on how lemony you like your pasta)
1 handful shelled roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons Bottarga (optional)
salt and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add a good pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook until the pasta has just become al dente and add the chopped asparagus. Cook until the pasta is cooked through and the asparagus is bright green, soft, but still slightly crisp. Drain in a colander and see aside.
In the same pot that you cooked the pasta in, add the olive oil to the warm pan. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan and toss. Drizzle in lemon juice. Sprinkle in cheese pieces, fresh herbs, pistachios, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and season accordingly.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature sprinkled with as much Bottarga as you’d like.