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Lemony Asparagus Pasta
Asparagus season may run through the spring months from March to June but it hits its prime in April. If you can get your hands on some quality in-season asparagus, give this recipe a try. We shine a spotlight on the spikey star ingredient with a supporting cast of creamy white wine sauce, deeply infused with fragrant lemony notes and a nice salty Parmesan kick. We can't think of a better harmony of flavors to celebrate the beginning of spring!
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 lb thin asparagus trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for serving
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Cook asparagus until crispy, then season with pinch of salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream, white wine, lemon juice, and zest. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Add in salt, Parmesan, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and mix until well combined.
- Turn off heat and mix in pasta, asparagus, and parsley until well coated. Add small amounts of pasta water until you reach desired consistency. Serve with more grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes.