We did a little switcheroo on the menu tonight because we are taking the kids night skiing tomorrow. Night skiing. How did they get old enough to go night skiing?
Anyway, through no intentional planning, I served spring on a plate tonight. We switched Tuesday night's tacos for Wednesday night's Italian. Both the penne and the asparagus salad were incredibly light but flavorful. This dinner was very refreshing, especially after last night’s burning man. I wasn’t sure how I felt about raw asparagus salad. I know. I’m the one who planned to make it, but I still wasn’t sure. And while my associates did an excellent job juicing lemon,
I really wasn’t sure about the lemon dressing that was scheduled to go with the asparagus. What a pleasant surprise. This was the best part of dinner. I would make this salad again anytime.
This is a simple salad. It has three ingredients: asparagus, pecorino, and lemon vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is made of lemon juice, lemon marmalade, and olive oil. I couldn’t find lemon marmalade, so used orange marmalade and some lemon zest. You only need ¼ cup of dressing to a pound of asparagus, and this dressing makes a good amount. Plan to use it for a salad later in the week. I’m telling you, it works with the asparagus. Three of us tasted it on its own and it tasted just like lemon. I was worried. But it is outstanding on the asparagus.
As for the penne, I had pancetta in my refrigerator, so I substituted that for the prosciutto. I only had three ounces (rather than eight), which was plenty. This dish can be slightly scary to make if you have never used raw eggs to make a pasta dish (hello, Carbonara). Live on the edge. You’ll be so glad you did. This is an easy weeknight dinner. Fast, flavorful and very few ingredients, most of which are readily available. It is one of the reasons that I like Mario Batali. With a few exceptions, his recipes involve simple ingredients, simple preparation, and tasty results. I have two kids who profess to hate sauce of any sort. Both had seconds tonight, sauce and all.