Lemon and Asparagus Pasta with Pistachios and Mozzarella

After returning from Italy, where my fella and I spent two weeks, you think we’d be tired of pasta … NOPE. And since olive oil constitutes an important component of the sauce, I opened my new fancy Italian olive oil! I’m the worst about using new things, because I want them to last forever, but why buy olive oil and not eat it? Via Joy the Baker.

  • ½ pound dried curly pasta [Joy the Baker used Cavatappi pasta, I used fusilli]
  • 1 pound asparagus, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup small mozzarella balls, sliced in half
  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1 to 2 lemons (depending on how lemony you like your pasta) [I used one and thought it was enough.]
  • 1 handful shelled roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Bottarga (optional) [I didn’t use it because I didn’t have it, but I’m sure it’s delicious.]
  • salt and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer.  Add a good pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook until the pasta has  just become al dente and add the chopped asparagus. Cook until the pasta is cooked through and the asparagus is bright green, soft, but still slightly crisp. Drain in a colander and see aside.
  2. In the same pot that you cooked the pasta in, add the olive oil to the warm pan. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan and toss. Drizzle in lemon juice. Sprinkle in cheese pieces, fresh herbs, pistachios, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and season accordingly.
  3. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature sprinkled with as much Bottarga as you’d like.
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