Asparagus Tagliatelle

Asparagus Tagliatelle

It was the summer of 1487.

Lucrezia Borgia was about to get married. For the third time.

You see, her dearest father,  Pope Alexander VI and mother (who happened to be one of his favorite mistresses), had decided that they would marry their daughter as many times as they could to advance their political standing. 

As soon as one husband didn’t quite give them as many political or financial benefits as they had hoped, they moved onto a new conquest for their daughter.

And they weren’t too subtle about it either. Her father ordered the execution of her first husband. And her brother was rumored to have personally “disposed” of her second husband. 

But as much as Lucrezia’s family used her hand for their political advancement, Lucrezia still found ways to assert her independence. Throughout the Italian court she was rumored to be a  femme fatale, having no fewer than three affairs throughout her marriages. She also had her own way of dealing with her rivals: it was rumored that she had a special hollow ring that she used frequently to poison the drinks of her foes. 

And most impressively, during her life she reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position usually held by cardinals.

But what does this have to do with pasta? 

Well for Lucrezia’s third marriage, chef Mastro Zefirano wanted to create an unforgettable banquet. Wanting to honor Lucrezia’s long, blond hair Zefirano cut lasagne into golden strips. The dish was a smashing success! And tagliatelle was born. :) 

This Tagliatelle dish uses asparagus, half of which is blended into the sauce, for a dish full of history and flavors of Italy.

– Julia & Camillo


500g/18oz Fresh Asparagus
Riserva Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper 
200g/7oz Fresh Tagliatelle 
Parmigiano, To Taste


  1. Rinse the asparagus thoroughly, trimming the ends. Place in a steaming basket in a pan or pot in which you’ve added two inches of water. 

  2. Cover and steam on high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. 

  3. Remove the cooked asparagus from the steaming basket and cut off the tips - keep these to one side. Save the cooking water as well. 

  4. Place the stems (not the tips) in a blender with three tablespoons of Riserva Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a good grind of pepper, and a couple of ladles of cooking water. 

  5. Blend until smooth, adding more cooking water if necessary. 

  6. Bring a generously salted pot of water to boil (adding the leftover asparagus water). Drop in the fresh tagliatelle and cook al dente.

  7. As the tagliatelle cooks, heat up the asparagus sauce in a non-stick pan, adding some of the cooking water from the pasta. 

  8. When the tagliatelle is al dente, drain and place in the pan. Sautee with the asparagus cream, adding more cooking water if needed. 

  9. Turn off the heat. Add the asparagus tips you kept to one side and as much grated Parmigiano as your heart desires. Vigorously mix the pasta together to allow the Parmigiano to melt. 

  10. Plate and top with a generous drizzle of Riserva Extra Virgin Olive Oil


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