Tagliatelle with morel mushrooms, asparagus and speck
4 to 6 thin spears asparagus
4 to 6 thin spears white asparagus
1 oz. Piave Vecchio cheese
2 5-oz. nests Stellina Pasta fresh tagliatelle
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup fresh morel mushrooms (or 1 1-oz. package dried morels, reconstituted)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 oz. speck, sliced paper thin*
1½ tsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
• Bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil.
• Peel and cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, reserving the peelings from the green asparagus. Blanch the white asparagus and then the green for 2 to 2½ minutes each, depending on thickness, and reserve.
• Place the green asparagus peelings in a small bowl of ice water. Let stand at room temperature until the ice melts. Repeat the process two to three times, and reserve the peelings. This will help take any bitterness out of the peelings and give them a more attractive appearance.
• Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese and reserve.
• Bring 3 to 4 quarts water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and stir gently. With the water constantly boiling, cook for 1½ to 2 minutes; drain.
• In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes.
• Add the blanched asparagus, speck and garlic to the skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes.
• Add the pasta, olive oil and parsley to the skillet and toss.
• Plate the pasta immediately and top with the cheese and the green asparagus peelings. Serve.
*Speck is an Italian smoked prosciutto available at DiGregorio’s Market on The Hill.