Simple and elegant, these essential pasta dishes work equally well for special occasions and family mealtimes. What’s more, they take just minutes to make.
Wash the asparagus and remove any tough stalks. Place in a large, shallow pan, salt to taste, and cover with boiling water. Cook for around 8 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Cut into 2-centimetre lengths, discarding any tough parts. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the breadcrumbs and cook gently, stirring all the time, for two minutes. Add the cream and stock. Stir well and add the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes and set aside. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the asparagus. Stir in the cheese and serve at once.
Fedelini with Lemon Sauce
Melt the butter and gently fry the garlic until it is golden brown. Add the chilli flakes. Wash the lemons and grate the zest finely. Use a zester so that you can use the fine threads of lemon as a garnish. Add the prawns to the garlic and butter. Heat gently, then add the lemon rind and cream. Simmer for 50 minutes. Bring water to the boil in a large pan. Add the fedelini, then drain it immediately because the aim is not to cook the pasta but to make it flexible. Add the pasta to the cream sauce, and cook gently for around 3 minutes. Season to taste and add a little more cream. Garnish with lemon zest to serve.
Beat the eggs and cream together with a pinch of salt. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the bacon and cook gently. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the bacon pan. Stir well. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs and cream and a little cheese. The eggs coagulate as they come into contact with the hot pasta, so work quickly. Stir until each strand of pasta is coated with a thick yellow cream. Season and stir in the remaining cheese to serve. Garnish with a raw egg if desired.