One-pot Asparagus Linguine with Herby Pangrattato

I’ve been meaning to post this since June, but somehow, whenever I think I’ll have an evening free for writing, life always gets in the way. Thankfully, this is a brilliant meal for when life does get in the way – it’s so quick and easy to make, but because it’s still packed with veg it doesn’t feel like a ‘cheat’. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve made it this summer, and am already working on a more autumnal version for when the weather is cooler and asparagus is out of season. Watch this space!

A note: the pangrattato isn’t made in the same pan, as I find it takes less time overall to use a frying pan for this while the pasta is cooking. If you want to stick to one pot, though, just make the pangrattato first in the pan you’ll cook the pasta in.

Ingredients (serves 2):
– 200g linguine or spaghetti
– 100g asparagus, cut into 3cm pieces, stems and tips separated
– 2 shallots, finely chopped
– 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
– 1 lemon, zested, ½ juiced
– 50ml olive oil
– 500ml boiling water
– 100g peas
– 1tbsp nutritional yeast
– 3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
– handful of basil leaves (about 15g), roughly chopped

1. Put the pasta, asparagus stems, shallots, garlic, half the lemon zest, the olive oil and water in a wide saucepan. If the pasta is too long, break an inch or so off the ends to help it fit. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring regularly.

2. Add the asparagus tips, peas, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Season well and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring regularly, then remove from the heat and leave to rest for 2 minutes (this helps the sauce to thicken and the flavours to develop).

3. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until a deep golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and stir in half the remaining lemon zest and some of the chopped basil.

4. Stir the remaining basil and lemon zest into the pasta, then top with the herby pangrattato to serve.

Tip: These timings are based on pasta which takes 10 minutes to cook: if yours takes more or less time, adjust the cooking time in step 1 accordingly.

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