In a small, Northern Vermont Kitchen, we sate our appetites with homemade meals and a love of local ingredients.

Asparagus Panko Pasta

Are you looking for the simplest dinner in the world? Do you like asparagus and lemon? Do you like things that make you happy?

Of course you do.

Warning: This recipe may be a little controversial, though. The asparagus is steamed in the microwave, which makes it perfectly crisp tender but – you know – it’s not steamed on the stovetop.

But, sometimes a girl just needs to make her appliances work for her.

Asparagus Panko Pasta

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

4 oz. dried pasta

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon roughly chopped Italian parsley

¼ teaspoon salt

8-10 asparagus stalks, trimmed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Shredded parmesan to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley and salt.

Stir occasionally until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Reserve the mixture.

Place the asparagus in a small microwaveable dish with 2 teaspoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave a small opening in the plastic to let the steam vent.

Microwave on high for 1 ½ – 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Remove plastic wrap immediately. (Be careful, it’s going to be hot.)

Toss the pasta with remaining butter, lemon juice and chili flakes. Top with the asparagus and panko mixture.

To guild the lily, serve with lemon zest and parmesan.

Divide between 2 bowls.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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