Dusk. A lone boxcar clatters down the tracks. Squint, and you’ll see two silhouettes huddled inside. One peels the lid off a tin can; the other rips open a plastic pouch with his teeth. They say grace over the feast of Vienna Sausages and Lit’l Smokies. Forget, for one moment, about the world outside this godforsaken freight car. It’s suppertime. We don’t know how a boxcar can travel without a locomotive either, so shut up. www.spilledmilkpodcast.com
We’re reporting live from Crusty Corners, the magical land where crusty, cheesy, bubbly goodness reigns. This was supposed to be a show about macaroni and cheese, but everything went horribly off the rails and devolved into Matthew’s makeup tips and Molly’s robotic endoskeleton. Recipe: Pasta with Asparagus in a Lemon Cream Sauce. EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. www.spilledmilkpodcast.com
PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS IN A LEMON CREAM SAUCE
From Cucina Simpatica, by Johanne Killeen and George Germon
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) (1.5 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded fontina (1.5 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and sliced 1/8″ thick on the diagonal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound conchiglie rigate (pasta shells) or penne rigate
1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, lemon zest, cheeses, and salt. In a small bowl, toss the asparagus with the melted butter.
4. Parboil the pasta for 4 minutes, drain, and stir into cream mixture.
5. Divide the pasta mixture into 4 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (or just use one 9×13 pan). Top with the asparagus, placing it in a circle around the outside edges of the baking dishes. Bake until pasta is bubbly and hot and well-browned in spots, 10-13 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings