Dinner Tonight: Linguini with Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Capers

Dinner Tonight

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

The original idea was to spruce up a standard asparagus and lemon pasta dish with capers and prosciutto. Something about the briny punch of the capers and the salty funk of the meat sounded appealing when paired with the usually reserved and straight-laced green stalks. But as usual, I wanted to add too many other ingredients, before realizing that I just needed to focus on the essentials.

Since capers have enough flavor as it is, all they need is to cook in some good butter. Fold in the pieces of prosciutto at the very end, along with the lemon juice and zest. To help pull everything together, make sure to save some of the pasta water. It helps create a light sauce, which coats the pasta when you finish it off in the skillet.