This is one of our fabourite white asparagus dishes. We first tasted it in a restaurant during a visit to Friuli, Italy many many years ago. Since then, we have been looking forward to this dish every springtime! It is an essence of the spring flavours of lamb and asparagus, where lamb is gently boiled in a broth, which is then reduced to an intense sauce, combined with asparagus and served with egg pasta. I like use “Csusza” imported from Hungary, which are thin pasta sheets dried and broken into irregular shapes, but Pappardelle al Uovo will do fine.
Ingredients for 4 servings: 400g lamb shoulder , broth vegetables (2 carrots, 1 slice of celeriac, a piece of leek (approx.3in/10cm), 3 garlic cloves, 5 peppercorns, a sprig of parsley), 1kg white asparagus, 50g butter, 400g pasta
- First prepare the broth. Arrange the lamb and the broth vegetables in a pot, cover with water, add a teaspoon salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Let the broth simmer for 1.5 hours.
- While the broth is simmering, peel and trim the asparagus and wrap in a wet towel, set aside.
- When the broth is ready, take out the meat and vegatables and let the broth reduce by two thirds (takes about 10-15 minutes).
- Cut the lamb into very fine slices. Slice the asparagus at an angle. Boil the pasta according to its cooking instructions.
- Add the meat and the asparagus to the reduced broth and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the butter, rectify for salt and serve with the pasta.