A very simple dish, reliant on good ingredients, so wait until early summer when asparagus is abundant, and you can get large, sweet, fragrant lemons from Italy. I specify a “hard cheese” here – I would normally use Parmesan or Pecorino in this recipe, but if you are vegetarian, it is now easy to find rennet-free alternatives.
Remove and slice each spear in half on the diagonal.
Melt the butter in the pasta pan then add the lemon zest. Turn the heat down as low as you can, then whisk the lemon juice and egg yolks into the butter, until you have an emulsion. Add some of the reserved pasta liquid, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a sauce the texture of single (light) cream – it should be silky-smooth and just coat the pasta when you add it without being cloying. Add the pasta and asparagus to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce.
Serve with plenty of black pepper, the cheese shaved over the top and enjoy!!!
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