Green Fettuccine With Asparagus, Basil and Butter

Serves 8.

Note: Green-on-green pasta is the essence of springtime. In a recipe with just a few ingredients, the resulting flavor depends on them being top-notch. This is the time to splurge on really good butter, if you’re so inclined. For the asparagus, if stalks are thick, peel them, but it’s not necessary with the skinny ones. From “The Italian Vegetable Cookbook,” by Michele Scicolone.

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

• 1/4 c. chopped green onions

• 2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

• Salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1/4 c. water

• 1 lb. spinach fettuccine

• 1/2 c. shredded fresh basil

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

• 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the green onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup water; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta, stir well and cook, stirring often, until cooked al dente. Scoop out some of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the pan with the asparagus, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the basil and parsley, and toss well. If the pasta seems dry, stir in a little of the reserved cooking water.

Toss the pasta with half of the cheese, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve immediately.