Gebratener Spargel auf Bandnudeln in Weißweinsauce
Recipes
Author: Inge Fuchs
Pictures: Inge Fuchs

Sautéed asparagus on tagliatelle in a white wine sauce

Film-free asparagus

That’s not a reference to the plastic film that often envelops the precious spears in supermarkets. Instead, it refers to the ground from which this seasonal vegetable springs. In an effort to accelerate their harvest, many farmers stretch a warming film over the asparagus ridges – the long mounds of earth from which the vegetable grows. The larger the field, the more plastic these farmers consume. However, one farmer taking a deliberate stance against this is Veronika Röll. “Our asparagus is moistened by wind and water and tickled into life by the sun,” explains the 32-year-old agriculturalist. It might take a little longer but, as Röll says, the result is a more intense flavor. “And we’re doing something good for the environment,” adds the Lower-Bavarian native.

A Mediterranean dish with local ingredients

It’s only natural that someone who puts as much heart and soul into growing their vegetables will cook them with a spoonful of love, too. Homemade ingredients are all part and parcel, with spelt tagliatelle, a white wine sauce, wild garlic oil and a wild garlic pesto. It sounds pretty delicious. “You should be excited, it’s going to be incredible!” assures the asparagus grower.

Difference between white and green asparagus

White asparagus grows underground, so farm workers have to gouge it out of the soil. As soon as its tip sees the sun, it turns a sort of blue-ish color. For the most part, that isn’t a bad thing. “It makes the flavor even more intense,” explains Veronika. It’s important to peel the spears well, starting from two centimeters below the tip.

With green asparagus, on the other hand, it’s enough to peel just the bottom third. Unlike white asparagus, the green variant grows above the soil and is harvested by simply cutting the spears off. Its flavor is similar to that of broccoli. “Personally, I prefer green asparagus, because its flavor is tangier and more intense,” says Veronika.

Garnishing with cheese and seeds

Veronika sets aside a few sautéed asparagus spears and dresses the dish by placing them on top of the pasta. A few toasted pine nuts also give this vegetarian recipe a little added bite. Finally, Veronika sprinkles some freshly grated cheese over the steaming pasta and drizzles a little wild garlic pesto and balsamic cream on top. If you like, you can add further decoration with a few sprigs of rosemary or a scattering of chive blossoms.

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