This recipe - which is extremely delicious - in fact comes from a Michel Roux dish of poached salmon garnished with asparagus tips. The salmon dish was pretty good (especially with the addition of a bed of mash!), but the leftover sauce, of which there was plenty, when served with fato a mano papardelle was stellar!
The sauce requires only the stalks of the asparagus, and so if you aren't using the tips (cooked) as a garnish for your papardelle , I would advise reserving them to use on another day either in risotto, or else as a stuffing for ravioli.
The following quantity is appropriate for four servings of pasta.
Ingredients: 8 asparagus stalks (tips cut about two inches down from the end); 50g butter; 2 shallots, sliced finely; 2 small mushrooms, finely sliced; 1 bouquet garni; 250 ml good quality stock (either fish or vegetable, depending on which you have available); 100 ml cream.
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and sweat for about three minutes the mushrooms and shallots, along with the chopped-up asparagus stalks. Do not allow the contents of the pan to colour.
2. Add the bouquet garni and the stock, and simmer for three minutes, then add the cream and simmer for a further two minutes. Check seasoning and adjust as necessary.
3. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, and then blend it in a liquidizer for a minute or so. You can then sieve it, for a really velvety texture, or else leave it slightly 'chunky' - I'm not sure that the difference is discernible once it has been used to coat the lengths of papardelle.
4. If it needs it, reheat briefly in the microwave before tossing with the cooked pasta.