Apr 24, 2014

Tagliatelle with asparagus and Pecorino

I didn't want to look for a better background, napkin, pot, light or angle. All I wanted to do was to sit down and eat a bowl of this pasta...warm, now.

I preheated my red pot with hot water. I dropped all the pasta from the skillet into the pot and ran to my outdoor photo studio on the balcony.

A couple of minutes later, I came back yelling that lunch was ready. Then all got quiet.

I didn't even grow up eating asparagus. I was probably 25 when I ate it for the first time (and saw it too?), back in the USA. Julian is a big fan, Hania is getting there. I like it. But we all went crazy for the green ribbons perfectly intertwining with tagliatelle.

And a handful of sharp Pecorino together with enough butter to combine all the flavors...

Recipe by Gray Apron
time: 20 min preparation + 10 min cooking

1 lb (500 g) green asparagus, hard ends broken off
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1/2 lb (250 g) tagliatelle
2 oz (50 g) Pecorino cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon (15 g) butter, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Using a cheese cutter, shave asparagus into thin ribbons. On a large skillet, heat oil on medium/high. At the same time, start cooking pasta. Save about 1/2 cup of cooking water. 

Sauté asparagus on the skillet for 3-4 minutes, adding salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) toward the end. Add about 1/2 cup of cooking water (from pasta) and sauté more for 2 - 3 minutes till tender but bright green.

Combine pasta with asparagus, add Pecorino and butter. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

  • the most time-consuming/challenging part of the recipe was shaving the asparagus; potato peeler didn't work;
  • not something you would want to do when in a rush;
  • so when I stopped rushing, the work got easier, starting from the bottom and up toward the flower, holding the vegetable in one hand and the cheese cutter in the other;
  • Pecorino (sheep's milk hard, aged cheese) is similar to Parmesan...but then, it's really not; it's sharper and saltier than the sweet Parmesan; it's hard to find it here so I use it seldomly but I prefer it over Parmesan; 
  • I thought asparagus needed a kick taste and Pecorino did the job!


  1. This is a cozy delicious pasta dish. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  2. A wonderful pasta dish for spring!

  3. The asparagus ribbons are beautiful! What a simple, delicious pasta dish!

  4. Anonymous4/24/2014

    This looks absolutely fantastic Ela! Perfect for spring time...

  5. I love this...a wonderful,l simple yet delicious, spring time lunch.

  6. Perfect words for a perfect photo. Would love to reach right out and enjoy!

  7. A beautiful spring dish! I really love recipes with just a few ingredients...delicious foods don't have to be complicated. Yum!

  8. What an elegant dish Ela, I can see my whole family enjoying this!

  9. Such a simple yet perfect pasta! Shaving asparagus definitely does take some time (and patience!) but is so worth it! This dish looks amazing.

  10. Love those asparagus ribbons... this is the epitome of spring pasta!

  11. Look delicious and beautiful Ela!

  12. love the way you shaved asparagus! we do that also with certain dishes!

  13. I love this pretty spring pasta dish - the shaved asparagus makes this so special and sounds fantastic!