Asparagus and Ricotta Tart



2 plain short crust pastry tart cases (O K if you want to make your own I’ll let you).
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
3 medium eggs
250g Ricotta cheese
250ml Double cream
Pinch of cayenne pepper
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 crushed garlic clove
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
1 large bowl of iced water

Pre heat oven to 190C
Snap the Asparagus heads away from the woody stalks (save stalks to make cream of asparagus soup)
Place the Asparagus heads in a steamer over a  large saucepan of  boiling water
Steam for five minutes.
Remove from heat and plunge into bowl of iced water this will retain it’s vibrant colour.
In a large Bowl mix together the eggs, ricotta cheese, double cream, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, garlic and season with salt and ground black pepper.
Drain the Asparagus thoroughly..
Spoon the mixture carefully into the tart cases.

Place the Asparagus tips evenly on top of the mixture like the spokes of a wheel and push down gently until they are half submerged.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch.

Tastes good hot even better cold

Easily frozen 


Simmer the stalks until tender.
Whiz in a blender until mushy.
Add some of the water to make enough for two generous servings.
Crumble in one chicken or vegetable stock cube.
Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add cream to taste.
Whiz again.

If you want it “posh” push through a sieve, if you want it “rustic” don’t.
Heat gently if you want to eat it straight away.
Cool and freeze it if you want it for later.