Like a perfectly brewed cup of tea and the next series of Downton Abbey, some things in life are worth the wait. And they include British asparagus.
With a season spanning roughly eight weeks a year and ending in late June, it is a flighty friend.
So flighty that you may be flummoxed as to what to do with these lean, green shoots. But before you resign yourself to another helping of fail-safe broccoli, TV chef Marcus Bean has plenty of top ‘tips’.
He has teamed up with the British Asparagus Campaign in a bid to encourage more of us to enjoy the homegrown delicacy.
With the clock ticking, he’s eager for everybody to snap up a bunch while we can so here’s a recipe you can try.
Asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine with chive cream
1tsp olive oil
8 asparagus spears
50g thick cut pancetta (diced
50ml double cream
50ml vegetable stock
2tbsp grated Parmesan
2tbsp chopped chies
Salt and pepper
Start by cooking the pasta in a pan of slightly salted boiling water until cooked, but still slightly al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Put a medium-sized frying pan on the heat and add a drizzle of oil. Finely slice six asparagus spears, with the other two spears cut into four pieces. Put them all in the pan and saute on a medium heat. Now add the diced pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream, vegetable stock and Parmesan. Then add the cooked pasta and chives, cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. If the sauce gets a little thick, add a touch of water.
Once cooked, serve with a grating of fresh Parmesan and a little seasoning.