Makes 2 large, or 4 side-dish sized servings
4 ounces whole grain angel hair pasta
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough/woody ends trimmed (I ended up with about 1/2 to 3/4 pound)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2-3 Tablespoons cooking liquid, reserved when the pasta is drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a vegan substitute), divided use
1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil over high heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water; cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until it reaches the desired doneness.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain the trimmed asparagus.
Trim off the tips (about 1 inch) and place in a medium saucepan or skillet with a lid.
Using a sharp knife, cut the stalks into 1/8th inch ribbons*; add to the tips in the saucepan.
Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus; toss gently.
Saute the asparagus over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, just until the asparagus is tender. (Cover when not stirring - the moisture will help cook the asparagus).
About 1 to 2 minutes before the asparagus is done, add the garlic, continue sauteing.
Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the cooking liquid in a small cup.
Place the drained pasta into a serving bowl.
Toss the sauteed asparagus and garlic into the pasta. (If necessary, moisten with 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the reserved cooking water).**
Add 2 Tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, lemon peel, salt and pepper, adjusting seasoning to taste.
Sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
**Normally, I would have used more olive oil when sauteing the asparagus, but the pasta cooking water accomplished the same thing, without adding extra fat.
Source: Original recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II.
(The idea of cutting the asparagus stalks into long ribbons came form The Veggie Venture).