There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of warm pasta eaten in the company of beloved people. I could eat only pasta for weeks, to be honest.

I thought that during the last weeks, I tried all pasta recipes possible. However, as we have just stepped into the asparagus season, the game has started again.

Citrusy flavors make me think of my Italian holidays spent with my mum on Amalfi Coast several years ago. The lockdown makes me think of those beautiful moments even more, especially now that I am in my hometown. During our visit to the Isle of Capri, we ate pasta al limone with very simple, almost minimalistic lemon sauce. I decided to prepare something that would bring those hot days of August spent strolling around the lively streets of an Italian town back. However, I decided to twist the original recipe by using more exotic, light lime and asparagus because they make everything better now.

Since the very first bite, my mum was delighted. She enjoys those subtle, light, creamy, and mild flavors. As usually happens in my case, I had to try and test this recipe many times, experimenting with different proportions and ingredients to make sure that the final version deserves to be called the ultimate one. The pasta tasted hea-ven-ly. It is like a breath of fresh air, we all need so much right now.

Simple Coconut Pasta with Asparagus and Lime 1

Simple Coconut Pasta with Asparagus and Lime
2 servings
½ bunch (250 g) of green asparagus
1 lime
½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk plus to serve
2 tablespoons cold butter
200 g spaghetti
⅓ cup parmesan
freshly ground pepper, salt

1. Snap off woody asparagus bottoms – hold asparagus with both hands, find the natural bending point (asparagus will tell you where it is, trust me), and snap the bottom off. Cut in 2 cm chunks.

2. Using a vegetable peeler or a knife slice off 3 cm of lime peel. Cut it into thin stripes. Grate finely the remaining lime peel (about 1 teaspoon). Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Set aside.

3. Pour coconut milk into a medium pot. Add lime peel and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to the minimum. While constantly stirring with a whisk, add small chunks of butter. Add each subsequent chunk only after making sure that the previous one has completely melted. This is the procedure you need to follow to make an emulsion.

4. Cook pasta following the instruction on the package (it has to be really al dente because it will be additionally cooked in the sauce later). One minute by the end of cooking pasta, add asparagus. Measure ½ cup of cooking pasta water out. Strain the rest. Add pasta, together with asparagus and ⅓ of pasta water to the coconut-lime sauce. You may have the impression that the sauce is too watery, almost soup-like, but don’t worry – it will eventually thicken.

5. Add parmesan, spoon by spoon, constantly stirring. The sauce will thicken while cooking. Turn the heat off. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice, season with salt and pepper. Add more water if you need to dilute the sauce a bit.

6. Place in bowls. Serve with sliced lime peel and a splash of coconut milk.

This pasta has a very light and subtle flavor. If you want to give it some additional kick, add a bunch of chopped coriander just before serving.

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Simple Coconut Pasta with Asparagus and Lime 2
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