Get the most from British asparagus

Asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine
Asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine

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

(Serves 2)

150g linguine

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.