Tagliatelle with pancetta and asparagus
Skill level: Easy peasy
Can you believe you can make this delicious tagliatelle with pancetta and asparagus from scratch in just 10 mins? Well you can. It’s so quick, easy and very tasty. A bag of fresh tagliatelle only takes 2-3 mins to cook, even if you use dried it will only take a few minutes longer. This is the perfect dish to cook when British asparagus is in season in May and June, but if you want something more everyday just swap the asparagus for frozen peas. Frozen peas are often better than fresh as they’re frozen within an hour or two of picking to preserve their wonderful sweet flavour.
- 100g pancetta, cubed, smoked lardons or smoked streaky bacon, chopped
- 600g fresh tagliatelle (from the chiller cabinet)
- 250g asparagus spears, trimmed
- 200ml crème fraiche
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme plus extra to garnish (optional)
- Finely grated zest ½ lemon
- Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
If using dried tagliatelle instead of fresh you’ll only need 400g. Increase the cooking time to 8 mins, adding the asparagus for the final 3 mins.
- Cook the pancetta or lardons in a dry frying pan for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp.
- At the same time, cook the tagliatelle and asparagus together in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 mins until the pasta is tender and the asparagus just cooked.
- Stir the crème fraiche into the frying pan with the pancetta or lardons, add a few thyme sprigs and the lemon zest and heat through. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Drain the tagliatelle and asparagus, adding a tablespoon of the cooking water to the crème fraiche sauce. Mix the tagliatelle and asparagus with the sauce, garnish with thyme, if liked, and serve with grated Parmesan.