After several years of this practice, I find I have company. Headline from a May 22, 2015 article in the Wall Street Journal:
Vegetable Scraps Go Haute: How to Cook Root to Stalk
Save those stems! Across the country, chefs are getting very good eating from parts of our produce we typically trim away. Here are their tips for using every part of the vegetable, plus recipes mindful of making the most of your market haul*
And an article in the Spring 2015 issue of edible Aspen, "The Skinny on Asparagus", included a recipe for asparagus stock and directions on how to cook pasta in stock.
With the asparagus season fast approaching some asparagus stock still left in my freezer, I remembered the pasta recipe. I used whole wheat linguini fini with excellent results. The whole wheat pasta makes a heartier, less delicate but also healthier offering than white pasta.
The edible Aspen asparagus stock recipe is pretty close to the one I have been using for several years, except it finishes the stock using a food processor and then a food mill. I find the food processor or even easier an immersion blender sufficent. I collect the asparagus trimmings over the course of a few meals. Often I cook for only two but we eat a lot of asparagus so it does not take long to fill the quart container I keep in the refrigerator during asparagus season.
Place the asparagus stem pieces (I do a quart of 1 -2 inch stems at a time) in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover and gently boil until the asparagus is very soft, about 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep stems covered. Let cool and then puree with a food processor or immersion blender.
I freeze and save for use after asparagus is no longer in season.
"Cooking pasta in stock is a fabulous alternative to using your stock for soup. The pasta absorbs the flavors from the stock and leaches out starch, which thickens the sauce to create a savory sauce.."**
1 quart asparagus stock
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8 ounces pasta, linguini fini or spaghettini works best
finely chopped parsley
* I don't subscribe to the WSJ so only saw the headline, not recipes.
** edible Aspen, No. 30 Spring 2015, page15.