1 bunch asparagus
3 slices thickly cut ham
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 glass white wine (opt)
1 pack spaghetti
grated parmesan and toasted sunflower seeds to serve
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus – it will naturally snap at the ‘right’ place, and discard the woody ends or use in stock. Chop it into 1cm length pieces. Place in a pan and just cover with boiling water. Simmer for 2 mins, then drain the water into a bowl. Chop the ham slices lengthways and crossways to form little squares.
Bring a pan of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook spaghetti according to pack instructions.
Add the butter, flour and wine to a pan. Heat gently and whisk. Add a cup of the asparagus water as the butter begins to melt and keep whisking. Once the butter has completely melted, add the rest of the asparagus water and keep whisking until the mixture bubbles gently and thickens. Mix in asparagus and ham, then season to taste.
Drain the pasta, then mix with the sauce. Serve in bowls, topped with grated parmesan, toasted seeds, and a grind or two of black pepper. Lovely with a mixed salad.