Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
250g British asparagus
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp red pesto
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
250g short rigatoni (or another chunky pasta shape like penne)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
50g plain flour
750-850ml whole milk
50g grated Parmesan cheese
80g grated cheddar
Sea salt & black pepper
What to do:
Wash and trim the asparagus and blanch it briefly in boiling water and then refresh in cold water. Set to one side.
In a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic, olive oil, breadcrumbs, red pesto and Parmesan and mix together. Set to one side.
Put the pasta on to cook in a large pan of salted, boiling water.
In a separate pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the flour and cook for one more minute, stirring as you go.
Now slowly whisk in the milk, start with 700ml and see how much your sauce thickens – you want it to coat the back of the spoon, but not get too thick, so add more milk if necessary. Now take off the heat and mix in the cheeses and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat your grill on medium-high, then mix the pasta with the sauce and the blanched asparagus and transfer to a large oven proof dish. Crumble over the breadcrumb mix. Put under the grill for around 5 minutes, or until golden and crispy.