This basic recipe comes from Martha Stewart Living, May 2004. I have made this recipe several times. The last time I made it, I followed the recipe in terms of preparing the asparagus. The recipe calls for blanching the asparagus then peeling it. Peeling it was very difficult because the asparagus tends to be a bit slippery.
I prefer my original preparation for 1 lb Asparagus rinsed, tips removed, and stems peeled to create strands. Blanch the tips and strands for about 1 minute in boiling water until bright green. Remove from water and place in an ice bath.
In large pot, boil 6 quarts of water. Once it boils, add 2 Tbl Salt and cook 1 lb Fettuccine until al dente. Before draining pasta, remove 1 cup of pasta water. While pasta is cooking, finely chop 2 Large Shallots. Zest and Juice 1 Lemon. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbl Olive Oil. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream, 1/4 Cup reserved Pasta Water, and Asparagus Ribbons. Bring to a boil. Add cooked fettuccine, tossing until heated thoroughly. If the sauce seems too thick or pasta seems dry, add additional pasta water. Stir in Lemon Juice and Zest. Season with Cracked Pepper and Kosher Salt. Plate and top with generously with Shaved Parmesan Cheese. Serve at once!!