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Asparagus With Anchovy Butter

Serves 4-6

6-8 stalks fresh asparagus
2-3 tablespoon butter
2 (125 ml) salt cured anchovies, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon pine nuts
Pinch of salt
Pinch dried chilies
2 tablespoons Blue cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Polenta, cooked

Trim asparagus stalks to the same length, cook 3-4 minutes in salted boiling water until cooked but still crispy. Drain on a towel.

For the sauce, melt butter in a hot pan. Add anchovies, garlic, sage leaves, pinenuts, chilies and salt. Stir and cook until bubbly.

Firm Polenta:
1/2 cup polenta
2 cups water or chicken stock
pinch of salt

Place stock and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil then slowly add the polenta, stirring occasionally. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add a tablespoon of butter and about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until butter is melted. On an 8 inch plate, grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil then pour polenta on top. Smooth to edges of plate and allow polenta to cool to room temperature.

Cut polenta into wedges and place on plates. Arrange asparagus spears on top. Place blue cheese in middle, grated Parmesan on top of blue cheese, then pour hot anchovy sauce over all. Serve immediately.

*Recipe from my food blog on 26 September 2007 posting (photo included)

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