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Asparagus and Linguine Carbonara

Asparagus and Linguine Carbonara

The medicinal properties of asparagus, a member of the lily family, was well-known by the ancient Greeks and Romans who spread its cultivation throughout their empires in Europe and the Middle East. Aristotle believed it had, as its shape implies, aphrodisiac powers. He prescribed a formula of ground asparagus, parsnips, artichokes, ginger and acorns mixed in a muscatel base. If there’s a run on these ingredients in our local supermarkets, then we’ll know it’s spring.

However, according to the Ontario Asparagus Growers’ Marketing Board, modern Science has found quite different medicinal properties in asparagus such as the protein glutathione, which binds to fat-soluble toxins transforming them into water soluble waste, making them easily cleansed from your body. It also regulates free radicals, assists in the absorption of vitamin C, can prevent blood clots and reduce high blood pressure in diabetics. And who knows? Perhaps Aristotle’s claim can be added to this list of health benefits, you’ll never know unless you eat your asparagus. Bon Appetit!
Asparagus and Linguine Carbonara
Serves 4-6


1 lb.. linguine, preferably imported
½ lb. fresh asparagus
3 eggs
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup 35% cream
5 sprigs of tarragon leaves chopped
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
8 slices of prosciutto
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut prosciutto slices in half, then in ¼” strips,
saute in a frying pan over medium-high heat until slightly crisp.
Trim asparagus and starting just below the heads, cut across diagonally in 1/3” slices, discarding the tough bottom portion. Lightly whisk eggs, 1 cup of the cheese, lemon juice and zest together.
Add pasta to boiling water, after 5 mins. add asparagus and cook for 2 mins more. Drain pasta and asparagus, add them back to the pot off -burner, add egg mixture and stir well, add prosciutto, then salt and pepper to taste.
As soon as sauce begins to thicken, stir-in chopped tarragon.
Serve, garnished with reserved parmesan.

This recipe and photo was contributed by Loretta White, a food columnist living in Chester, Nova Scotia.

For more recipes visit her blog, Food for Thought at www.southshoreclipper.com

Complementary Wines: Beaujolais, Orvieto, Rosé

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