Asparagus with nettle beurre noisette and hand-made macaroni – by Janni Kyritsis

11 September 2006
Asparagus with nettle beurre noisette and hand-made macaroni – by Janni Kyritsis


(serves four)

For the macaroni
150g plain flour
1 medium egg
About 150ml water

For the asparagus with nettle beurre noisette
250g nettle tops
250g salted butter
4 free-range eggs
20 asparagus spears
20 freshly boiled pieces of macaroni


Put all the ingredients for the macaroni into a food processor, blend and then knead by hand to form a supple dough. For each macaroni you will need a knitting needle (2.75mm) or an old, clean umbrella spoke. Break off a piece of dough weighing about 20g and spread it as evenly as you can around the needle.

On a work surface, roll the dough back and forth, pressing lightly - there's a knack to this and it takes time to learn - and try to keep turning the needle so the pasta doesn't stick to it. When the pasta is about 20cm long, ease it off the needle. Leave to dry and boil to order in salted water for about three minutes.

Boil the nettle tops in salted water for five minutes. Drain, squeeze out as much moisture as you can and chop very finely. Heat the butter in a pan to the nut-brown - beurre noisette - stage. Stir in the chopped nettles and keep hot. Poach the eggs in salted water and drain. Pare and boil the asparagus.

To serve, pour piping hot nettle butter over the asparagus. Lay a poached egg on each portion and five strands of macaroni.

Janni Kyritsis

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