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Asparagus & Leek Pasta with Lemon by Nina Dohanos: A Classic Spring Side Dish


Asparagus and lemon go together like wine and cheese. This dish is packed with bright springtime flavor, and feels quite light. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Bonus- it’s delicious the next day!


Ingredients:

1 pound of spaghetti

1 bunch of asparagus

1 large leek

2 lemons- juice and zest

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs

5 tablespoons of butter

2 Tablespoons of grated parm cheese


Instructions:

1. Wash and dry the asparagus. Slice the spears on a diagonal, about 1/3 of an inch thick.

2. Prepare the leeks by cutting the root end off, and the tough dark green part. Leeks are full of dirt, as they grown under ground, so they need to be throughly cleaned. Slice the leek lengthwise in half. Next cut the leeks in 1/3 inch pieces. Soak the slices in a bowl of water and swish around to remove dirt. Drain in a colander and rinse again. Allow to drain.

3. Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted water until it is a dente. Drain and set aside.

4. In a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the bread crumbs, and mix to combine. Toast for a minute then set aside.

5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter and add the olive oil. Add the asparagus and leeks, and saute for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to combine.

6. Serve in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, toasted pine nuts and fresh chopped parsley on top.

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