This pasta is a taste of Spring in a bowl, a glorious tangy mix of horseradish and lemon. It seems that the Spanish don’t grow horseradish root, or rather they don’t sell it in the supermarkets. So occasionally we bring a jar of horseradish cream from the UK just for this. This is a very Italian dish in style, very simple to make, and like all the best Italian food it is best when made with the very best available raw ingredients.
I added two extra ingredients; long-stemmed broccoli, and toasted almonds. Actually this recipe will work well with a variety of spring green vegetables; peas, green beans, broad beans would be delicious too.
a handful of long-stemmed broccoli
1 tbsp creamed horseradish
2 tbsp chopped chives
a handful of whole, blanched almonds, toasted
Trim the asparagus, keep the tips separate. Save the trimmings for another recipe. Pour 4cm of water into a large saucepan, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the pieces of asparagus stem and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus tips to the pan, simmer for another 2-3 minutes until almost al dente but still firm. Drain. Now use the same pan to lightly cook the broccoli. You can prepare to this stage in advance, cool and cover.Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of a salt and a glug of sunflower oil. Add the pasta, bring back to a rolling boil and cook, uncovered, until al dente. A few minutes before the pasta is done, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the asparagus, stir to re-heat gently without frying. Add the horseradish cream, and a splash of lemon juice to taste.
5 to remember
la raíz – root
las raices – roots
el rábano – horseradish
la crema – cream
el estilo – style
Recipe from ‘Eat Your Greens’ by Sophie Grigson [UK: BBC Books]