Although April is the height of the asparagus season it is still growing in the UK. Apart from being high in water and therefore good fr weight management, asparagus has some other important health benefits. It contains good levels of anti-oxidants including vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. It also has lots of insoluble fibre which helps with constipation and it is a source of potassium.
Research suggests that increasing potassium intake while reducing salt intake is an effective way to lower high blood pressure.
Asparagus, Pea and Lemon Spaghetti
150g wholemeal spaghetti
160g asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into lengths
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 leeks (220g), cut into lengths, then thin strips
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
160g frozen peas
1 lemon, zested and juiced, plus wedges to serve
Boil the spaghetti for 12 mins until al dente, adding the asparagus for the last 3 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the leeks and chilli and cook for 5 mins. Stir in the garlic, peas and lemon zest and juice and cook for a few mins more.
Drain and add the pasta to the pan with ¼ mug of the pasta water and toss everything together until well mixed. Spoon into shallow bowls and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over, if you like.