Tagliarini with Asparagus and Herbs

April 10, 2018
12 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

From Ruth Rogers of River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant cookbook: "We cook this pasta when asparagus is in season and we cut them almost as thin as the tagliarini."

Featured in: We Can't Get Our Forks Away from This Creamy Asparagus PastaFood52

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds (675g) thin asparagus spears
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, oregano)
  • 7 tablespoons (100ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (50g) unsalted butter
  • 9 ounces (250g) tagliarini or tagliatelle
  • 4 ounces (120g) Parmesan, freshly grated
  1. Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Finely chop the asparagus all together with one of the garlic cloves and the herbs.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan with the rest of the whole garlic cloves and simmer until the cloves are soft. Remove from the heat; discard the garlic.
  3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a separate large saucepan and saute half of the chopped asparagus for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the rest of the chopped asparagus followed by the flavored cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the cream begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Season. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  4. Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly. Add to the sauce along with about half of the Parmesan and toss together. Serve with the remaining Parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emma Kelsey
    Emma Kelsey
  • Anne Weeks
    Anne Weeks
  • Kimberly Young
    Kimberly Young
  • Ron Shapley
    Ron Shapley
  • Reed Keyes
    Reed Keyes

17 Reviews

Emma K. May 24, 2021
Unfortunately I found this a bit bland. The recipe does not call for any salt (aside from the pasta water and parmesan), and despite adding some to the asparagus I still felt it needed a bit more flavor. Not bad, but I would probably not make again.
Linda J. October 14, 2020
A wonderful surprise. I made my own pasta substituted almond milk and butter for the heavy cream and it still came out delicious. I will make it again with the ingredients as they are listed in the recipe. Bet it is even better.
Anne W. April 13, 2019
Probably totally unhealthy, but darn good! I added mushrooms.
Kimberly Y. April 10, 2019
This was so good! Just use your food processor to chop everything up & you've got an easy, delicious meal.
Cheryl March 26, 2019
Tried this tonight. Based on reviews, I cut the orange in half. I don't think it was necessary and would keep the original amount next time I cook this. I made a couple adjustments. I took the pancetta out of the pan and drained it on a paper towel so it would stay crisp. I got rid of half the bacon grease because I thought there was way too much with the addition of butter. I did not add the pine nuts or pancetta with the parsley, garlic, lemon and orange peel. Instead, I served the asparagus/leeks topped with pancetta and pine nuts. We loved it. Pancetta was nice and crisp and the nuts did not get lost or overpowered by the garlic and peels. This will definitely become part of our asparagus rotation while it is in season. May use method, as suggested, with other veggies as well.
Cheryl March 26, 2019
Sorry this review was for the Asparagus and Leeks. I have not tried this recipe
cookinalong April 21, 2018
What is the reason for cooking the asparagus in 2 steps rather than doing it all at once?
Susanna May 14, 2018
I’m guessing it’s to keep some brightness in the flavors of some of the herbs, as well as a bit of toothiness in some of the asparagus?
Linda S. April 19, 2018
My husband is lactose intolerant so any substitute for the heavy cream?
juwu_eats June 8, 2018
Lactose -free cream, say or almond based cooking creams. You could also use nut milks (such as cashew milk) to make a white sauce. Hope this helps :)
Ron S. April 18, 2018
Looks delishcious but beware of that boiling cream...keep an eye on it 😇
Hana A. April 18, 2018
Yes, great tip Ron!
Reed K. April 16, 2018
This was so good! My 1.5 year old LOVED the creamed asparagus by itself (and also ate up the noodles...). Would also be really really good with either broccoli or green peas. Will definitely make again.
Hana A. April 18, 2018
Hi Reed! Wow, if a toddler loves it, you KNOW it's good. ;) Thanks so much for reporting back!
juwu_eats June 8, 2018
It does work with broccoli and its awesome!
tinaowens April 12, 2018
I found lemon tagliatini at my local market. Added a little prosciutto. Delish!
Hana A. April 18, 2018
Wow, thanks so much for making it so quickly, and reporting back on it even faster, tinaowens! The prosciutto sounds amazing.