240 g asparagus
350 g penne or egg tagliatelle
Salt and black pepper
50 g unsalted butter
100 ml double cream
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Grated Parmesan to serve
Snap off the bottom tough or bendy ends of the asparagus. If the stems are quite chunky, pare off a thin layer of stalk at the stem end with a potato peeler.
Cut the stalks at an angle, leaving the tips whole.
Steam or boil the asparagus for 7 to 8 minutes until tender but still crisp. Rinse in cold water and drain.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until "al dente".
While you're cooking the pasta, warm the butter and cream in a pan over a gentle heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked asparagus and the lemon juice and zest.
Take off the heat and leave for five minutes for the flavours to blend.
When the pasta is cooked, drain all but a tablespoon of the cooking liquid, add the olive oil, and combine with the asparagus and lemon sauce.
Stir, season and serve with plenty of chopped flat leaf parsley scattered on top, and a bowl of grated Parmesan