Spaghetti with wild asparagus: an explosion of spring flavors from Sicily.
If you want to savor an authentic and delicious dish from Sicilian tradition, you must absolutely try spaghetti with wild asparagus! Unfortunately, this delicacy is available only at this time of the year, at the beginning of spring, when wild asparagus can be found only in some wooded areas. Usually, they are sold in bunches on sidewalks or in markets, and are highly appreciated by lovers of this spontaneous and tasty product.
Wild asparagus is different from cultivated ones: they are exclusively green and are distinguished by their thinner stem and slightly bitter taste, but much more flavorful. You can eat them raw, adding the stems to salads, stew them, or boil and season with oil and lemon, or use them for many tasty preparations, from pasta sauces to risottos and omelettes.
The sauce to dress the spaghetti with asparagus has several variations, depending on the area: some use garlic, others fresh onion, and others still add a little tomato. My version, very simple, is a homemade recipe that perfectly enhances the flavor of these delicious asparagus and is typical particularly of the province of Syracuse.
Want to try it too? Here's the recipe for spaghetti with wild asparagus!
Ingredients for four people:
spaghetti, 360 grams
three bunches of wild asparagus (about 300 grams)
a bunch of fresh spring onions or a new onion
a little aged pecorino cheese to taste
extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Clean the wild asparagus: with your hands, break the stem at the point where, trying to do it, it breaks easily. The more rigid and hard part must be eliminated or, if you want to reinforce the flavor of the recipe, boiled in water where you will then cook the pasta. Gently wash the tender part of the asparagus under running water and cut it into pieces.
Pour a few tablespoons of oil into a pan, then add the thin onion (or chopped new onion) and cook for a few minutes over low heat.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in plenty of salted water.
Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for a few minutes, adding a tablespoon of cooking water if necessary.
Drain the spaghetti al dente, pour them into the pan with the asparagus, and cook for a moment, adding just a little oil just before turning off the heat.
The spaghetti with wild asparagus is ready: serve it with a generous grind of black pepper.