Watercress and Asparagus Penne
Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe
A light and healthy take on the classic combination of pea and asparagus using green-pea pasta.
300g asparagus (trimmed weight)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthways
a large handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt, black pepper
250g green pea penne
freshly grated parmesan, to serve
- For the sauce, cut off and reserve the asparagus tips then thickly slice the remaining stalks. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the base of a large saucepan, scatter over the garlic and sliced asparagus, pile the watercress on top and add 150ml water. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the leaves have wilted, stirring towards the end.
- Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the reserved asparagus tips for 2 minutes, then drain in a sieve.
- Whiz the contents of the watercress pan with the parsley, remaining oil, lemon juice and some seasoning to a smooth purée. Return this to the pan.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions or until just tender.
- Drain the pasta in a colander. Reheat the sauce if necessary then add the pasta and toss to coat.
- To serve, scatter the asparagus tips on top then liberally dust with parmesan and drizzle over a little more oil.