Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta

Are you one of those people who ALWAYS makes too much pasta because when they look at the dry pasta they think it's just not enough so they add more to the pot then they end up with an obscene amount of pasta and they shake their heads and wonder why they do it each and every time? *gasp for air* Ya, me neither.

But IF I was one of those unfortunate people I'd be on the lookout for a recipe that uses that extra pasta. Case in point ... I happened to have some extra spaghetti noodles from last night's dinner. I had made my Mediterranean Tuna Pasta when my mother-in-law came over for dinner and voila -- enough noodles to feed an army. So my MIL tossed a bit of butter with the extra noodles and put them in the fridge.

Today I came up with a new recipe. Brad and I really liked it. I had a bunch of asparagus plus a lemon in the fridge that was just beggin' to be used so I came up with this recipe. LOVE the flavour of fresh Parmesan cheese, asparagus and lemon. De-lish! This dish tastes like a nice light pasta dish ... but it's not! :) With heavy (aka whipping) cream and fresh Parm it's devilishly good.

Yield: 2 servings

Leftover spaghetti noodles (or you can cook some fresh ones until they're al dente)
1/4-1/2 lbs asparagus, cleaned and ends snapped off. Cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces.
3 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water or vegetable stock (see Tip below)
1 lemon for juice and zest
Fresh black pepper (or lemon pepper)
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (plus extra to shave on top)

If you don't have any leftover pasta, cook some until it's al dente.

Zest entire lemon (use a microplaner it's so easy!). Then cut lemon in half and juice it. Set zest and lemon aside.

Meanwhile, put asparagus into a shallow glass dish. Almost cover asparagus with water. Cook on HIGH in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes (or until it's al dente, not mushy).

In a large skillet, melt butter. Cook garlic for 2 minutes. Add flour and stir. Whisk in heavy cream, water and the zest from the whole lemon (don't skimp here!). Bring mixture to a rolling simmer. Add 3/4 of the juice from the lemon.

Add the Parmesan cheese to the creamy mixture and reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 6 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.

Drain asparagus and add it to the creamy mixture. Add black pepper. Add leftover pasta and use tongs to coat pasta with sauce. Top with fresh Parmesan shavings. Drizzle pasta with the remaining lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: Try using the water from cooking the asparagus instead of the water or other vegetable stock.

Tip 2: This recipe can easily be doubled, if needed.

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