Fresh harissa pasta and mustard pasta are two of the innovations at Provisions restaurant in Houston. This recipe, by chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner, features squid ink pasta, tossed with crème fraîche, loads of herbs and asparagus that’s cooked in wine until slightly tangy. The squid ink adds mostly color, not flavor, so using any other long noodle in this dish is also fine.
Slideshow:More Fast and Easy Pastas
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus—tips reserved, spears cut into pieces
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 pound squid ink linguine or tagliatelle
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons snipped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
In a very large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the asparagus spears, garlic and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until nearly evaporated, 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta, water, crème fraîche, chives, parsley and tarragon to the skillet. Keep warm.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the asparagus tips, season with salt and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add the asparagus tips to the pasta and toss.
In the skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Sprinkle over the pasta and serve, passing grated Parmigiano at the table.
The crème fraîche here makes the asparagus much more wine-friendly. Opt for a lively white wine, like an Italian Verdicchio or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.
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