One of my staple sauces for spaghetti has long been the bacon/spinach/pinenuts concoction. Today we bought asparagus at the market and I have to say it is actually an improvement on an already fine dish.
- asparagus, stems snapped, tops left whole and the nice part of the stem chopped into a few pieces and then into quarters longwise, if they are thin stems.
- garlic, finely chopped
- pine nuts toasted in a frying pan and not burnt (wish I’d remembered that today)
- bacon or lard fumé if you are in some part of the world that doesn’t do bacon.
- olive oil for cooking
- best olive oil for serving
While the spaghetti is cooking, fry the bacon or equivalent (pancetta is okay too) in olive oil, add the garlic and then the asparagus. You want all this to cook on a really gentle heat, maybe even off heat some of the time. When the spaghetti is boiled, drain and mix it thoroughly into the sauce, add the pine nuts.
Serve with black pepper ground at the table and parmesan. I found this a beautifully sweet dish, which perhaps did not even need cheese. We did add best olive oil at the table.