Gemelli with White Asparagus
Asparagus was first cultivated 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The Greeks and Romans loved asparagus for its flavor, texture and medicinal qualities. Roman emperors were so fond of asparagus that they kept special boats for the purpose of fetching it and called them the “Asparagus Fleet”. While the Greeks never seemed to garden asparagus, the Romans had specific directions on how to cultivate asparagus by 200 BC. They would eat the asparagus in season as well as preserve it for later consumption by transporting it to high altitudes where it would stay frozen. Asparagus gained popularity in France and England in the 16th Century and was then introduced to North America. Asparagus basically comes in three colors: green, white, and purple. Most common is the long green asparagus. White asparagus is simply green asparagus that has been covered with soil to blanch out the color. The flavor is about the same, but the texture is often more tender.
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- 2 cups Gemelli Pasta
- As Required – Boiling Salted Water
- 1 1/2 lbs. White Asparagus
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
- To Taste – Salt & Pepper
- Cook Gemelli pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse & reserve.
- Peel the lower half of the asparagus and blanch in boiling, salted water until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Let the asparagus cool and then cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter until it begins to turn golden brown. As soon as it begins to change color, remove from the heat.
- Add the white asparagus and red pepper flakes to the browned butter then add the cooked Gemelli pasta to the butter and asparagus and heat gently for a minute or two while tossing together.
- Add the Parmesan last and mix well.
- Serve immediately and ENJOY!
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