SPAETZLE WITH ASPARAGUS, GOUDA AND RAMP-HAZELNUT PESTO

spaetzlePesto

Adapted from New German Cooking

Serves 4

4 ramps, bulbs and leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
1/3 cup plus 1½ tablespoon grated aged Gouda
1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound dried spaetzle, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons minced fresh curly-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, process the ramps until smooth. Add the hazelnuts and cup of the Gouda and pulse until combined but the mixture is still a little coarse. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the remaining Gouda, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel each asparagus spear from just below the tip to the base, removing the tough skin. Snap off the woody base from each spear where it breaks easily. Cut crosswise on the diagonal into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, combine the canola oil and butter over medium- high heat. Add all of the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the spaetzle and stir to combine thoroughly and heat through, a few minutes longer. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat, add half of the pesto to the spaetzle and asparagus, and toss and stir to mix well. Transfer to a platter, spoon the remaining pesto on top, and serve immediately

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