After a late start, the asparagus harvest this year has been great! But after grilling, air frying, sauteing, and roasting, plus Cream of Asparagus Soup, it was time to celebrate asparagus with something a little unexpected. How about pasta? And let’s grill it for good measure! And lemon sounds like it would brighten things up a bit!
Pasta with Grilled Lemon Asparagus
Grilled asparagus in a garlicky lemon marinade, with rotini and a bit of roasted red pepper.
Make a medium charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium high. Start bringing a large pot of water to boil.
Roast the red pepper: simply put it directly on the grill, and allow to char, turning occasionally so it is charred all over. Then place in a plastic bag to steam while you continue to work.
Put a perforated vegetable grilling rack, or a couple of layers of aluminum foil in a pinch, over the fire to heat. Make the marinade/sauce: Grate the lemon zest into a small bowl. Add the garlic, 1/4 C cilantro, mustard, and 1/4 C olive oil, then squeeze the lemon juice in as well. Quickly whisk to emulsify, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
The pasta water should be boiling about now. Add the rotini, and cook until tender.
Meanwhile, put the asparagus in a large serving bowl, and cover with the marinade. Toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer the asparagus to the grill rack with tongs. Watch carefully for flare ups from the oil. Grill, tossing frequently, until the asparagus is tender and grill-marked, about 10 minutes (watch carefully, grill temperatures vary a lot!)
When the pasta is done, drain, and transfer it to the serving bowl the asparagus had been in. Add the feta, 2 tbsp of cilantro, spearmint, and toss to coat with the leftover marinade.
When the asparagus is done, transfer to the pasta bowl. Slice the bottom of the pepper, and allow the juices to drain in to the pasta. Peel (the skin should peel quite easily now), seed, and coarsely chop the pepper, and add to the pasta. Toss again, and season to taste with salt and pepper.