Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Asparagus Pasta...five to ten, give me more!

Asparagus Pastaor Spring Pasta...a quick weeknight meal recipe when Amazon Prime or rather my new love Viking Ragnar Lothbrok awaitsquick, easy, pasta, bacon, greens, cheese – what’s not to love? The pasta, not Ragnar J that one I feel a little guilty of falling in love with but the character combined with Travis Fimmel’s smile gets me every single timeI cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spearsthe recipe is adapted from Gimme Some Oven’s 5ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta and Serious Eat’s  Lemony pasta withAsparagus and Bacongo with either the 5 ingredients or the 10 ingredient list or 6 or 7 or  8 or 9you will end all singing:
“This will never end 'cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more”

P.S.: the last bit is Fever Ray’s theme for Vikingsjust in case you thought I’ve totally lost it

Bacon Asparagus Lemon Spring Pasta mmskitchenbites

Asparagus Pasta with Crispy Bacon and Lemon


  • Pasta, 250gms (Tagliatelle, Linguine, Spaghetti – any noodle shaped pasta would work)
  • Bacon or Pancetta, sliced into strips, 250gms
  • Asparagus, 250gms (refer to notes)
  • Wine, ½ cup (or chicken stock or just use pasta water)
  • Fresh Red Chilli, seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped, 1 (optional)
  • Spring Onions/ Scallions, whites and green separated and finely chopped, 2-3 (optional)
  • Lemon juice, 1 tsp and Lemon zest, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Butter, 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Parmesan Cheese, finely grated, ¼ cup /25gms
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


Snap and discard the woody bottoms of the asparagus stalks

Cut off about 2 to 3 inches of the asparagus tops and keep aside. Chop the rest of the spears into about ¼ inch pieces.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling generously salted water al dente according to package instructions. Add the asparagus tips for the last two minutes of the cooking time. (2 minutes for thick/regular asparagus, 1 minute for fine asparagus) Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

 Meanwhile, add bacon to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add chopped asparagus bits to the same pan and cook in the bacon fat, tossing and stirring frequently for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add spring onion whites and half of the chopped chillies, cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove everything with a slotted spoon and set aside with the bacon.

Lower the heat and add the white wine (or pasta water) to the pan to deglaze and scrape off the browned bits. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half. Take the pan off the heat.

**your pasta would be cooked and ready to be drained about now**

Add the pasta with asparagus tips, previously cooked bacon and asparagus stalks, lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining chopped red chilli, spring onions greens, pepper and butter to the pan.  Toss together until butter melts.
Stir in most of the grated cheese and extra pasta water, stirring until desired consistency is reached.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Sprinkle pasta with remaining cheese and serve immediately.


  • I normally cook the asparagus tips with pasta if using Fine Slender spears...and in the pan to slightly char/brown/caramelise if using the Regular/Giant/Jubilee spears – toss the tips in the pan along with the chopped spears.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)...go wild!

Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)have you ever gone foraging for food? I have always wanted to but never know where to go and whom to go within our first year here in London I had even convinced myself that the bush in the garden with pretty white flowers was an Elderflower bush and was all set to make cordial out of it, but thanks to a friend stopped short or else this blog would be run by a ghostwriter by now!! J Thanks to the farmers’ markets and veg box deliveries I have now been able to enjoy a couple of the so called foraged foods that I had heard so much aboutWild Garlic or Ramps or Ramsons being one of themthis salad now usually gets made after we have had our fill of the mandatory Wild Garlic Pesto and Prawns with Wild Garlicand then gets made throughout the year even without the wild garlic...

P.S.  If based in West London, check out the Putney Food Assembly for Wild garlic and other produce from Local producersFood Assembly is also coming to Hammersmith Area at the end of this monthI am soooo excited! (for a Food Assembly near you in London or UK or France, Italy, Belgium and other countries – check out this link)   

Potato Salad with Wild Garlic Avocado dressing mmskitchenbites

Potato Salad with Avocado dressing (and Wild Garlic)


  • Potatoes, cubed,  500gms
  • Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Wild Garlic, a large handful or finely chopped spring onions/scallions or finely chopped chives


  • Avocado, 1 medium size
  • Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar or Lime or Lemon juice, 2 tsp (listed in order of preference, go with what you like or is available)
  • Whole grain Mustard or Dijon Mustard or English Mustard, ½ tsp (listed in order of preference, go with what you like or is available)
  • Garlic, 1 clove or Wild garlic leaves, chopped, around 2 tbsp
  • Green chilli, finely chopped, 1 (optional, remove seeds if you want)
  • Olive Oil, 1tbsp – 2 tbsp *refer to notes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Water, about 2 tbsp *refer to notes


You can boil the potatoes in salted water until tender or roast them. We prefer roasting them.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss potatoes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then toss and roast for another 15 minutes or until crispy and golden. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the peeled, de-stoned and chopped avocado, vinegar, mustard, garlic (or wild garlic), green chilli, salt and pepper in the bowl of a mini food processor.

Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.  

Check consistency and adjust by adding water and giving it another wizz in the food processor – I like to keep the consistency of this dressing thick and creamy like mayonnaise and normally with 1 tbsp oil, about 2 tbsp water works well.

Toss cooled potatoes in the avocado dressing. Stir in or top with chopped wild garlic, spring onion greens or chives.

Dig in!

Potato Salad with Wild Garlic Avocado dressing mmskitchenbites


  • You can of course go totally oil free in the dressing and just use water (or even yogurt) but adding at least 1 tbsp oil makes it taste a little more like mayo! J
  • A picture of the pretty wild garlic leaves
Wild garlic Ramps Ramsons mmskitchenbites