I love this with the local marinated and air-dried beef from Donaldson’s butchers here in Orkney. I always used to make it with Rannoch Smokery’s smoked venison before I discovered the Orkney beef, and that was delicious too. Try it with any smoked meat, salami or even smoked salmon.
Print the recipe here.
• 1 bunch asparagus
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 red chilli
• 100-125g bottled sweet red peppers, or roasted fresh peppers
• 100g smoked venison
• bunch flat leaf parsley
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Knob of butter
• 250g pasta
• 150ml pot double cream
1. Snap the ends off the asparagus and discard them (they compost well). Trim the spears to 2.5-3cm, then finely chop the stems and set to one side. Crush the garlic, finely chop the chilli and chop the peppers, reserving any juices. Cut the beef or venison into strips and finely chop the parsley.
2. Heat the oil and butter together, add the chopped asparagus with the chopped chilli and garlic, cover and cook slowly for 5-8 minutes until tender.
3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil then add the pasta and cook as directed on the packet. Place the asparagus spears in a colander and steam over the pasta for 5 minutes at the end of the cooking time.
4. Add the pepper juice and the cream to the cooked chopped asparagus, then blend to a smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan, add the sauce and stir until the pasta is well coated. Gently stir in the peppers, venison and asparagus spears with the parsley. Add a little more seasoning before reheating gently for 2-3 minutes and serving.
• The best pasta sauces are made with a little of the cooking water from the pasta. Once you have tipped all the pasta into a colander in the sink, quickly pick up the colander and set it back over the saucepan to collect a little of the water and add that to your sauce before adding it to the cooked pasta.
• When British asparagus is not in season I sometimes make this with sticks cut from the stalks of calabrese broccoli.
• It is always best to choose a pasta shape which is roughly the size of the star ingredients in the sauce. I would chose fusilli or medium-sized shells for this sauce.