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Prep & Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 225g large asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 115g frozen shelled edamame
  • 400g dried wholemeal spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 large leek, white parts only, trimmed and julienned
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 115g ricotta cheese
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra whole leaves to garnish
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. To prepare the asparagus, place each spear flat on a chopping board and use a peeler to shave into very thin slices.
  2. Cook the edamame in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl of iced water.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions until just al dente. When the pasta is cooked, drain into a colander and reserve 120ml cooking water. Set the pasta aside.
  4. Meanwhile, when the spaghetti is nearly cooked, heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add the asparagus and leek and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the asparagus starts to soften. Add the garlic and edamame and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
  5. Add the ricotta and 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to the pasta pan. Whisk until smooth, adding more cooking water as necessary. Add the asparagus mixture to the pan and mix together over a low heat.
  6. Return the spaghetti to the pan. Add the mint and parmesan. Toss well, and season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 serving plates and serve immediately with more parmesan, mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Vegan option

Instead of the ricotta, put 115g firm tofu, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a blender and pulse until it is semi-pureed. Use this tofu mixture as per the ricotta in step 5. Omit the parmesan cheese or use a vegan alternative, such as Nut Cheese.


READ: 12 tips on how to start a flexitarian diet and stick to it

Extracted, with permission, from Modern Australian Flexitarian (DK Australia, 2019).

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