Roasted Asparagus is simply roasted and served with an easy sauce made with ricotta, fresh lemon and Parmesan cheese.
This is a different kind of cheese sauce for asparagus. A very Italian one that requires no cooking.
On my last visit to Northern Italy (Emilia Romagna region), they had an asparagus festival and boy do they know how to make the best of this vegetable. The most delicious way that I have had asparagus was served with a lemony, cheesy sauce.
This Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Ricotta Sauce is my attempt to recreate this simple, yet delicious side dish and it may not be exact and hard to follow in the footsteps of the Italians, but it is still really good.
Asparagus is best in the spring, but it is really available all-year. This is what I call an evergreen recipe that you can make anytime.
What is the best asparagus to buy?
Asparagus can be thick or thin. When buying, you want to look for plump, firm stalks with tightly closed tips. The color should be a nice green and not faded.
How to store asparagus
I find the best way to preserve the life of the asparagus is add a little water to a tall container, store upright and refrigerate. I have a lot of Chinese food soup containers so I use one of them.
Sauce serving tip
If you make the sauce ahead, or it has been sitting it will look separated from the ricotta cheese. Just blend right before serving to make it look smooth and luscious.
This asparagus dish was part the perfect side for Chicken Piccata. A complete meal on the table in 30 minutes.
- 1 pound (448 grams) asparagus, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Small pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup (113 grams) ricotta
- 1/3 cup (113 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Small pinch black pepper
- 2/3 cup (227 grams) olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
- Trim any tough end of the asparagus and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss to coat well. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, 7 to 8 minutes if the asparagus is thin.
While the asparagus roasts, add the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, salt, pepper and olive oil to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- When the asparagus is starting to brown, remove from the oven and serve immediately topped with the sauce.
The sauce recipes yields 1 cup (78 ml)