1 pound of asparagus, washed
1 Tbsp. salt (preferably sea salt), plus additional for seasoning the sauce at the end
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one whole lemon
1 pound of gluten free penne or other short pasta (I prefer organic garbanzo pasta)
½ of a ripe avocado – skin and pit removed
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and reserve the tips in a small bowl, separately
Add 1 Tbsp of salt and the asparagus stems to the boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon (the boiling water will be used throughout the preparation) and refresh under cool water and place them in a food processor.
Add the asparagus tips to the same boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and refresh under cool water and reserve them separately.
Add to the asparagus stems, in the food processor, the olive oil, lemon zest, avocado and ½ cup of the asparagus cooking water and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Return the pot of water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking 8-10 minutes – or until it is al dente.
Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta in a colander.
Put the asparagus stem mixture into a large saucepan along with the pasta, asparagus tips and ½ cup of the pasta-cooking water and coat the pasta with the sauce cooking at high heat. Serve immediately.
This sauce also works well with fish, tempeh or for a green ratatouille with sauteed vegetables.
BTW- this is my favorite pasta sauce! Hope you love it too!!