“This is one of the simplest, but most underrated dishes out there – tomatoey pasta, fresh basil, spears of seasonal asparagus, and all finished with freshly grated Parmesan – bellissima! Using the basil stalks in the sauce gives it an extra hit of flavour, and the beautiful fresh pasta gives the dish great texture. Just as with dried pasta, cook your fresh pasta in plenty of boiling salted water and give it a good stir as soon as you’ve dropped it in. Totalled up, this dish boasts two of your 5-a-day. Thanks to the tomato and asparagus, this dish is packed with vitamin C, which your body needs for pretty much everything! ”
Peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the basil leaves and finely chop the stalks.
Cook the tagliatelle in a pan of boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente, which means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of bite and firmness to it, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
Heat a lug of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden.
Add the basil stalks and tinned tomatoes, breaking the tomatoes up with the back of a spoon.
Bring to the boil, season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and throw them away, then finely chop the spears.
Add the asparagus to the tomato sauce, simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and season to taste, if needed.
Finish off the sauce by stirring through the basil leaves.
Toss the tagliatelle in the sauce, adding a little cooking water to loosen, if needed.
Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good grating of Parmesan. Enjoy!