Asparagus, Broad Bean & Smoked Salmon Pasta

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25g butter
6 spring onions, sliced
6 tbsp dry white wine or vermouth
200g carton crème fraîche
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
Juice of  ½ lemon
700g young broad bean in pods (to give about 175g/6oz                                                                                           shelled beans)
                                                                                   175g young asparagus
                                                                                   350g spirali or spaghetti
                                                                                   100g smoked salmon, cut into small pieces

1.  Melt the butter in a pan, then fry the spring onions for 1 minute, until softened. Add the wine and boil hard to reduce to about 2 tbsp. Stir in the crème fraîche, season well and add the nutmeg. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the dill, if using, and squeeze in a little lemon juice. Set aside.
2.  Blanch the shelled broad beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Drain into a sieve and hold under running cold water to cool. Drain again and peel off the outer hard skin – make a nick in the tops and pop the beans out.
3.  Trim the asparagus – if it’s young, it won’t need much cut off the stems. Cut into halves or thirds. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water as per pack instructions, adding the asparagus 3 minutes before the end of cooking time. Cook until “al dente”.
4.  Drain well, reserving a little pasta water. Toss the hot pasta and asparagus with the drained broad beans, smoked salmon and sauce, loosening with a spoonful or two of pasta water, if necessary. The heat of the pasta should reheat the sauce and slightly cook the smoked salmon, but stir over a gentle heat to warm through if necessary. Serve immediately. 



Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2004

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