A quick midweek vegetarian pasta dish with asparagus and a creamy lemon sauce. I always use organic lemons whenever I use the zest.
- 2 lemons
- 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- ¾ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth, or more to taste
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 pinch white sugar, or to taste
- 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
- ½ cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 Zest and juice 1 1/2 lemons. Cut remaining lemon half into wedges and set aside.
- 2 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
- 3 While penne is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium heat and cook asparagus until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from pot.
- 4 Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and heat until a pinch of flour sprinkled into the pot will just begin to bubble. Whisk in flour to form a thick paste the consistency of cake frosting. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes. Whisk in cream and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
- 5 Stir lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley into the sauce; season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Add asparagus and heat through, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and penne to the sauce and pour in some of the reserved cooking water. Serve with shaved Parmesan and lemon wedges.
- Calories 810.8
- Carbohydrate 103.8 g
- Cholesterol 108.1 mg
- Fat 37.2 g
- Fiber 10.5 g
- Protein 24.8 g
- Saturated Fat 21.8 g
- Sodium 512 mg
- Sugar 9 g
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