British asparagus season is in full swing!
I’ve been craving the combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese in every form this week, which is unusual for me. Strong, salty flavours are vying for my attention, as well as the sourness of beetroot and pickled cucumbers. Still, at 37 weeks pregnant, it could be worse and at least my sweet tooth has been calmed. I’ve also been eating plenty of fresh, British asparagus, as it’s in season now in the UK, with some of the best spears coming from the counties of Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. The Vale of Evesham is also renowned for its asparagus, with the British Asparagus Festival 2014 running between 23rd April and 21st June. This pasta dish of asparagus, smoked salmon and cream cheese is very quick to make with just a few ingredients. I’ve used small penne tubes, though any small pasta shapes work well with this almost-instant cream cheese sauce.
- 250g/ one cup dried Penne pasta, or other small shapes
- One bunch/one cup fresh asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
- 200g/ ¾ cup cream cheese, regular or light
- A glug of olive oil
- 120g (one small packet) smoked salmon
- Fresh dill to garnish
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add in the pasta shapes and cook for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
- Two minutes before the end of cooking time, add the chopped asparagus to the water. Take out one cup of pasta water for the sauce. After two minutes, drain the pasta and asparagus.
- Add the cup of pasta water back into the same pan, stir in the cream cheese and a glug of olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper. Add in the cooked pasta and asparagus.
- Stir through the chopped smoked salmon, leaving a few pieces to garnish the top. Sprinkle over the fresh dill and serve immediately.
I’m entering this dish into a few blog event challenges this month. Firstly, to Pasta Please! created by Jac of Tinned Tomatoes and this month hosted by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen with a theme of pasta sauces.
And finally, to my own Simple and in Season Spring, open here.
More asparagus recipes to try
British Asparagus and Westcombe Cheddar Tart for JamieOliver.com
Have you been enjoying any seasonal asparagus in simple, family meals?
Next week it’s National Vegetarian Week so look out for plenty of veg-packed recipes!