Summery pasta recipes are basically all we dream about during work while fantasizing about what we’ll be cooking up for dinner. Can we use up those cherry tomatoes, perhaps in a pasta primavera? And what about the basil from the farmer’s market? Pesto is definitely on the menu. So when we saw that Jamie Oliver just shared a linguine recipe that will help us use up the fresh asparagus we keep bringing home from the store, we were excited. Even better? It uses a technique taken from the classic Italian dish Cacio e Pepe to make a creamy, luscious sauce, without using any cream.
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It’s a simple recipe that’s a lot like cacio e pepe, but in this case, the pepe in question is crushed red chile peppers rather than black pepper.
While your linguine is boiling away, sauté some freshly chopped asparagus in a big skillet with butter, chopped garlic, and dried red chile flakes, just until the asparagus starts to sizzle. Add some pasta water, then cover until the asparagus is crisp-tender.
When the pasta is done, use a pair of tongs to drag the linguine straight from the pot into the skillet with the asparagus. This allows the starchy cooking water from the linguine to run off into the pan.
Add some finely grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, then toss the pasta, asparagus, and cheese together. As you toss it, the starchy pasta water, cheese, and butter should emulsify, creating a creamy, luscious sauce that coats each noodle and each piece of asparagus.
It’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight when you forgot to plan ahead. Asparagus, pasta, cheese, dinner.
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls