Monday, September 26

Kitchen Pen Pals: Creamy white wine and asparagus pasta

Howdy guys. Sorry for the delay in getting this recipe up. Thing is, my Kitchen Pen Pal has been busy getting engaged! Congrats Siân. I am so happy for you girl. Like I tweeted ya, the next recipe will have to be some sort of wedding tower of treats! I'm pretty sure after kneading that dough, I'm ready to tackle three tiers of eclairs?

Well today's recipe is a heavenly bowl of steamy, creamy goodness! <------Doing my best to channel Nigella vibes. But seriously, this pasta is flippen amazing. It could actually be one of the scrummiest meals I've ever tucked into - I think! 

Like last time, I've scribbled my notes throughout the recipe below. It occurred to me that if you wanna print the recipes and shop for the ingredients, you surely won't want the extended-Lauren-rambling version so I will bung the original recipes from Siân somewhere on Gloss for you to download. Just need to figure out where...ok, let's begin!


500ml fresh cream
 ½ cup white wine 
I went with Woolies' Zesty White because I quite liked the idea of some 'zesty' wine bottle coming to life and dancing 'round the kitchen! Ridic but true. Was also pleased to discover my months of working in an Irish Pub (in South Africa) during my college years have paid off. I can still uncork a bottle 'o plonk!
1/2small onion – finely chopped  
I followed Siân's tips on chopping an onion and I am pleased to report there were no waterworks this time! Just knowing how to chop an onion has reduced my cooking anxiety by half.
1 bunch fresh green asparagus
Spar - my initial shopping destination - didn't have any so I bought pre-trimmed stems from Woolies. Convenient, yes, but I can definitely see the appeal of grabbing a handful of fresh stuff rather. I felt a bit snobby paying for my pre-trimmed stems. To posh to trim, ha.
Half a handful of fresh dill
Woolies had everything but dill - maddening! Had to drive back to Spar and rummage through a million herbs. None of them were labelled so I had no choice but to ask the veg lady what dill actually looked like. Turns out there was none on the shelf but they got me some from 'upstairs.' Didn't know there was a herby upper level at Spar!
Half a handful of fresh chives
Again, the posh packaged stuff at Woolies.
Salt and black pepper
250g of your choice of pasta – tagliatelle, penne, fusilli, linguine etc. 
I went with penne because I love when sauce does it's saucy thing in the tubes! That sounds a bit sick but you know what I mean, fellow penne lovers. Haha, that sounds worse! 'Penne lovers.'

Cook pasta to packet instructions.
Trim ends off asparagus and cut into 2cm lengths 
I had to google this! Wasn't exactly sure how to cut asparagus so I followed a video tutorial - forgot to bookmark the link though - soz.
Place asparagus into a pot of rapidly boiling water and cook for 1 minute until bright green 
Easy enough
Remove and place in a bowl of ice cold water 
Easy easy
Drain and set aside
Gently fry the onion in a small saucepan until soft and golden 
Felt all smug after chopping my onion ala Siân.
Add the white wine and reduce until there is about 2cm of liquid left
This part smelt glorious! I've always wanted to cook with wine because I have visions of French chefs casually chucking it into big steaming metal pots.
Place cream in a saucepan and boil until reduced by ½ 
WARNING: Do not be an idiot like me and boil the cream on the highest heat. It will scald into minging bits. Fortunately I was able to whip mine off the heat in time and salvage the rest. Turns out cream can quite happily boil away safely on the gentlest heat. Also, Siân, please can you teach me the ways of reduction!
Add the onion and white wine mix once the cream has reduced and finally add the asparagus, chopped dill, chopped chives and fresh black pepper. 
This part is lots of fun! All that greenery bubbling away in the cream - I can see why these TV chefs get so jacked up in the kitchen.
Season with salt.
Mix with pasta and enjoy!
I surely did. Thanks so much Siân! I would be proud to cook this dish for dinner guests.

I also just twigged that this is another veggie meal. I think Siân is surreptitiously trying to turn me into a vegetarian. Been there. Done that. Got busted eating a burger! No seriously, I would prefer to eat less meat and these recipes are proving to be just the scrummy alternative.

A while back, I asked if you guys would be keen to hook up with a Kitchen Pen Pal too. A couple of you replied, 'Ay, hook me up!' So I will try to figure out the logistics of that. In the mean time, happy cooking and don't forget to look out for Siân's version of this recipe on her blog!

Oh my word, I just remembered I burnt a till slip while cooking this! Told ya I was a hazard in le kitchen.


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