Creamy Lemon Pasta w/ Asparagus
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
No story behind this recipe! Just threw this together one night and it turned out pretty good so I thought I would share! Clearly I am obsessed with lemon flavored things, this won't be the last!
8 oz pasta, cooked al dente (I used spaghetti because it’s what I had on hand but I feel penne or some other short, shaped pasta would be better)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half lemon
1 bunch asparagus, stalky ends trimmed & discarded, cut into 2” pieces
1/2 cup green peas
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes, optional
1.Bring large pot of salted water to a roaring boil and cook pasta until al dente or desired texture. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water. Drain and rinse pasta, set aside.
2.In a separate pot, boil water, add asparagus and peas, boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3.In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, add olive oil, butter and sliced garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes on the lowest heat setting, until garlic barely starts to brown and smells aromatic.
4. Turn up heat to med-low and add black pepper, sauté for an additional minute. Throw in the asparagus and peas and sauté for 3-4 minutes then, gradually stir in the half and half and bring to a light simmer. Add a few pinches of salt to taste.
5. Next, slowly mix in the pecorino cheese and stir until melted and sauce is smooth/creamy. Sauce should have thickened a little by now. Now add in the pasta, lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Toss until evenly coated in the sauce. Serve immediately!
(If pasta seems a little dry you can add reserved pasta water or more half & half - but make sure it is room temperature or it’ll make the sauce clumpy).
*You can add grilled chicken to this as well or even bacon/pancetta pieces. I just chose to make it a vegetarian version. Also you can add broccoli, mushrooms or even spinach if you want to up your vegetables as well!
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