This recipe is from Cafe Miranda in Rockland, ME. A lovely place full of warmth and cheer. The range and quality of the items on their menu continues to inspire the foodie in me and the bread from their wood fired oven dipped in olive oil always blows me away. As much as possible chef owner Kerry Altiero sources local ingredients, which is something he encourages in any chef. He also has a great reputation for mentoring and retaining his staff for years by being a good teacher and encouraging fun in the kitchen. That fun generally spills out into the dining room.
Fiddlehead or Asparagus Pasta with Cheese, Sweet peppers, Brown Onions and Lemon.
Ingredients (for two people):
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1 bundle of asparagus, or 1/2 a pound of fiddle heads, trimmed and washed
1 large ripe red pepper
1/2 of an onion (we use red, but I like Vidalias too)
2 Tbsp of minced garlic
4-6 oz of goat or sheep cheese (go for a pressed and aged like Ricotta Salata)
12oz of fresh pasta (Cafe Miranda’s is available at several Maine retailers)
1/2 a lemon
Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook according to whatever pasta recipe you are using.
While the pasta is boiling…Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Once hot add the onions and peppers.
Sauté them until the onions are just starting to brown on the edges.
Add the minced garlic and sauté for about a minuet.
Add the fiddleheads or asparagus, if using asparagus try to keep them all in one direction, they look nicer that way.
Color (kind of brown) the asparagus or fiddle heads on one side and turn or
toss. Season lightly with salt and pepper as the cheese is pretty salty.
Lower the heat slightly, add the goat or sheep cheese in two large chunks.
Cover slightly and allow the cheese to melt. BUT not all the way.
Toss the finished pasta in a little olive oil, and divide into two bowls.
Divide the asparagus/fiddleheads and place a chunk of the slightly melted cheese on top of each.
Squeeze the lemon over both sprinkle with more pepper is you like.
Pasta at Cafe Miranda
Bread coming out of wood fired oven at Cafe Miranda
In Miranda's kitchen