Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp

Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp by SeasonWithSpice.com

“I’m not feeling well.”

“You always say that before you start writing,” Reese replied, shaking her head. “Just type ‘lemongrass asparagus pasta with shrimp’, and go from there.” 

“No, I’m serious.” I felt dizzy and nauseous, and grabbed the side of my desk. 

The bedroom and bathroom doors suddenly rattled, and I realized the building was swaying back and forth, east to west.  I looked over at Reese, and she was already standing up digging for her phone.  We ran out and down the 25 flights of stairs, feeling the earthquake continue under our feet for another few minutes.

Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp by SeasonWithSpice.com

Our last meal was Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp

Wednesday’s 8.6 megaquake off Sumatra was one of the biggest earthquakes felt in Penang in the past century.  And even though the shaking wasn’t severe enough to produce more than some minor cracks, the thought of a last meal does cross your mind momentarily as you run down the stairs of a building not built to withstand earthquakes. 

Of all the days, it had to be a healthy pasta dish.  Why not pineapple rum cocktails or a few scoops of smoky vanilla ice cream?  That’s the way to go.  But then I thought – as I carefully ran down the narrow stairwell – if I had two minutes to get down these stairs, alcohol or ice cream probably wouldn’t have been the best choice.

Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp by SeasonWithSpice.com

Lemongrass is a well known spice in Southeast Asian cooking, but the fragrant herb also complements many Western dishes like vegetable soups, salads, roasted chicken, and pastas. You can use both fresh lemongrass or lemongrass powder.

A delicious and healthy alternative to the usual cream or tomato based pasta sauces is an olive oil sauce with lemongrass.  You’ll be licking your plate, enjoying the earthy citrus flavor of the spice, sautéed in olive oil with garlic and red onion, and combined with black pepper, balsamic vinegar, red chili flakes, butter, and parmesan cheese. 

Let’s just say, Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp is a dish to remember

Lemongrass Asparagus Pasta with Shrimp by Season with Spice
Makes one serving

1 serving of pasta noodles
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 lemongrass stalk* or 1 tsp of Season with Spice's Lemongrass Powder
1 clove of garlic - peeled and chopped finely
1/2 small red onion – roughly chopped
8 large asparagus - snapped into 2 inch length pieces*
1/4 red bell pepper – sliced into strips
5 prawns (shrimp) – shelled and deveined
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese
Season with Spice's Aleppo chili flakes

1. Start by boiling the pasta.
2. While the pasta is boiling, heat olive oil on a frying pan on medium-high fire. Add in lemongrass, garlic, and onion, and sauté until aromatic (about a minute).
3. Add in the harder pieces of asparagus (the lower parts of the stalk), and sauté for about one minute. Then add in the rest of the asparagus, and the red bell pepper strips, and sauté for another minute. If the pan gets too dry, add a bit of water. Finally, add in shrimp and cook one side for a minute, and then flip them and cook the other side.
4. Asparagus spears should be tender at this point. Test by using your spatula to cut through one of the spears. It should be easy to cut, but still crunchy. If not, sauté for another minute or two.
5. When ingredients are cooked, turn fire off, and mix in butter, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
6. When pasta is ready, add to a bowl along with the sautéed ingredients. Then generously sprinkle parmesan, black pepper, and Aleppo chili flakes on top, along with a drizzle of olive oil.

1. If you are using fresh lemongrass stalk, remove the outer leaves removed and trim ends off, then chop the remaining stalk finely.
2. If you are using our Lemongrass powder, add in the powder toward the end of cooking at Step 5.

*Tip: Snapping Asparagus 
Starting at the tip of the asparagus, bend the stem and snap off about a 2-inch length piece (a fresh asparagus should snap easily). Keep snapping off 2-inch pieces until you come to the resistance point where it is too fibrous to snap. Discard the fibrous ends of the asparagus (or you can peel the fibrous part and add it to a soup).