I put together this quick pasta dish with leftovers from the refrigerator. The asparagus, prosciutto and ricotta creates just the right combination of flavours and textures to make this a comforting plate of food. You may replace the prosciutto with bacon or pancetta and the asparagus with say, cherry tomatoes. Similarly, you can leave out the ricotta and just use parmesan instead.
Here’s a quick guide to recreate this –
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. In the meantime, chop half a bunch of asparagus (I mostly used only the tips) and finely mince one garlic clove.
2. Once the water is boiling, season it with plenty of salt. Add about 75g/2.5oz dried pasta (I used fettucine) to the pot.
3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add the asparagus and saute for a few minutes until it has softened just a little. Add the garlic followed by half a teaspoon of dried oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Finally, stir in 2-3 slices of prosciutto torn into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, reserve about half a cup of the cooking water and drain. Transfer the drained pasta back to the pot.
5. Add the contents of the frying pan to the pasta. Grate the zest of one small lemon directly into the pasta pot followed by a heaping tablespoonful of ricotta. Stir to mix everything together. If you find that things are a bit dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it all up.
6. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl or plate. Top with some grated parmesan and fresh basil and enjoy right away!