Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Did you know that asparagus is a blessed, bountiful gift from Mother Nature? It's delicious, healthful, diuretic and can bring your glucose down, too, and improve the health of your gut, as well.
Wild asparagus grows in abundance on the wild, majestic slopes of Monterbano, embracing the rural town of San Lorenzello, where I was born and raised. Every spring my parents used to take all of us children for a walk on the long paths of the mountain overlooking the valley and the surrounding towns and search for this green, wild, thin-looking, tender asparagus that would later be part of our lunch and dinner. We made huge bunches of it to feed the entire family for the next few days.
My Mother Maria's linguine or spaghetti dish with asparagus is delicious, tasty, satisfying, yet simple and it takes no time at all to prepare. She would sauté aglio fresco tritato (fresh minced garlic) and peperoncino (hot pepper) in warm olio di oliva (olive oil) in a padella (frypan) while the linguine or spaghetti were cooking al dente (firm, not mushy) in the pentola (pot) with boiling water. She didn't use measures. Like any food lover, she connected with food in a very personal way. It's a feeling of trust and every food lover knows just what to do with it. It's quite an experience! A sense of gratification, bliss and inner peace. If you love and respect food, you know what I am talking about!
At times, Mother would make a light frittata (omelette) with asparagus. She would sauté a handful of cut up asparagus in a padella with warm olive oil until tender while in a bowl she would beat a few eggs, black pepper, minced prezzemolo (parsley) and parmigiano. Then she would throw in the mixture over the asparagus and let it cook until the frittata was done and ready to serve. For a more robust frittata she would sauté chopped scallions or onions with asparagus and add goat/sheep cheese.
Asparagus, this simple, healthful gift from Nature, is more than food to me. It's a memory of a time, a life experience and precious moments, which also defined the values that were passed on to me... Mom, Dad, I miss you both!