Steamed asparagus in a light and lemony cream sauce, deepened with fresh dill. A lovely choice for a spring supper.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta is made ever-so-much easier with three favorite kitchen tools so indispensable that I haul them along when visiting family or friends and kitchen time is likely.
For the asparagus, I rigged up a vertical asparagus steamer a couple of years ago but ready-made ones can be purchased at kitchen stores. If you love fresh asparagus, you’ll relish how a vertical steamer cooks the spears perfectly every time. Standing upright, the thick stems are closer to the fire so cook more, the tender tips further away so cook less. Perfection.
For the lemons, a microplane is essential for creating piles of airy zest without nicking the bitter white pith. And a lemon press, a clunky-looking, yellow-painted squeezing device, extracts the most juice possible from both lemons and limes.
For the Parmesan cheese, it’s double-duty for the microplane.
LEMON ASPARAGUS PASTA
Time to table: 35 minutes
- 8 ounces bow-tie pasta
- 1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, chopped fine
- 3/4 cup fat free half’n’half
- Zest from 3 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 0 – 2 teaspoons sugar (to taste, see ALANNA’s TIPS)
- About 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Freshly grated black pepper
- Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in well-salted water and drain. Steam asparagus until just slightly underdone (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Cut into two-inch lengths.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat, add shallot and slowly soften. Add half’n’half, zest, lemon juice, salt and sugar. Stir in asparagus and gently warm until spears reach desired tenderness. Stir in hot pasta, letting it soak up sauce. Gently stir in dill and black pepper.
Transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
This post is my contribution to 'Taste of Yellow', a LiveSTRONG event hosted by Winos & Foodies.
When I remade this in 2009, the fat-free half 'n' half separated. The taste was fine but if appearance is important when you serve this, you might use regular half 'n' half or even cream.
More Asparagus Recipes
Fresh asparagus is symbolic of spring and the return of an abundance of fresh produce. On my food blog A Veggie Venture, I've collected more than two dozen - imagine! - asparagus recipes. Here are a handful of my very favorite ways to cook and enjoy asparagus:
"This is good", says a favorite seven-year old
a vegetarian supper
a delicious spread
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