Tagliatelle with Fennel and Asparagus

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It is nearly asparagus season in the UK (although you can buy imported asparagus all year round). Here’s a recipe I made up tonight…


250 g saffron tagliatelle, or plain tagliatelle
10 asparagus spears
¼ fennel bulb, finely sliced
2 tbsp fennel pesto
lemon-infused olive oil, or plain olive oil
zest of 1 lemon, or 2 lemons if using plain olive oil
1 tsp saffron, if using plain tagliatelle
30 g butter


Boil the asparagus and tagliatelle in separate saucepans of salted water. The asparagus will take about 5 minutes. The tagliatelle may take from 3 minutes to 10 minutes, so consult the packaging. You want to time things so that the tagliatelle finishes cooking about 5—6 minutes after the asparagus.

When the asparagus is nearly cooked, heat the butter and a generous glug of olive oil in a griddle pan. Drain the asparagus and add it with the fennel to the griddle pan.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the saucepan with the pesto and lemon zest. Remove the asparagus from the griddle pan and then pour the remaining contents (fennel, melted butter and oil) into the saucepan with the pasta. Mix the contents of the saucepan until the pasta is coated in the other ingredients.

Serve the pasta into two plates and top each with five asparagus spears.