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Lemon Asparagus Spring Pasta – Kath Eats Real Food


This Lemon Asparagus Spring Pasta makes a perfect spring dinner to highlight my favorite vegetable this time of year: asparagus!

Happy Spring Dinner

We are fully embracing spring today with this seasonal, light pasta featuring the season’s most famous vegetable: asparagus.

It’s one of my favorites, and it’s one that Mazen will eat too.

Do you know why? “Because it makes your tinkle smell.” Sorry to bring up potty talk at the dinner table, but that is my life right now. Mazen thinks anything gross is hi-larious, and if it makes him a healthier eater, then so be it.

Lemon Asparagus Spring Pasta

This pasta recipe won’t weigh you down winter-style. It’s light and easy pasta dish that comes together in under 30 minutes. (Is there any other kind of recipe?) You can use any pasta you have on hand, but fresh pasta will make it extra special. (We get ours from Mona Lisa Pasta here in Cville.) 

Ingredients

Here’s the lemon asparagus pasta ingredient lineup:

  • fresh asparagus
  • pancetta (you can sub in bacon)
  • fresh pasta
  • fresh lemon zest and juice
  • olive oil
  • pasta water (optional mixed with white wine or cream)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • black pepper

To alter this recipe for other dietary preferences, you could make this sauce with nutritional yeast, using vegan pasta, and leaving out the pancetta (or using a bacon tempeh!) 

Instructions

Prep the asparagus + garlic

Snap or chop off the bottom inch or so of the asparagus. Cut the rest of the stalks of asparagus into 2-3-inch pieces. Mince the garlic finely or send through your garlic press.

Cook the pancetta

Cook the bacon or pancetta in a large saucepan over medium high heat. When it’s done (careful to not let it burn!), remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel lined plate. Remove the grease from the pan, leaving just a couple teaspoons.

Saute asparagus and garlic

In the same saucepan, reduce the heat to low and add the asparagus. Saute for 5 minutes, until almost tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to instructions. If using fresh pasta, it should only take 2-3 minutes for al dente.

Make the sauce

When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use for the sauce, then drain the rest. Add the pasta to the large saucepan. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, stirring or tossing to combine. Finally, add in ½ cup of the pasta water, stirring until a nice light sauce forms. If the pasta looks dry, add a few more splashes of the pasta water or use a nice white wine for extra flavor. If you prefer a creamier sauce, you can sub in some of the volume of starchy water for heavy cream. 

Toss and garnish

Finally, to the cooked pasta toss in the pancetta, asparagus, lemon zest and cheese to finish! Sprinkle with more parmesan on top to serve. A few red pepper flakes make a great garnish too. 

Lemon Asparagus Spring Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces bacon or pancetta
  • 14 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon about 4 tbsp
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Snap or chop off the bottom inch or so of the asparagus. Cut the rest of the stalks of asparagus into 2-3-inch pieces. Mince the garlic finely or send through your garlic press.

  • Cook the pancetta in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it’s done (careful to not let it burn!), remove with a slotted spoon and let strain on a paper towel line plate. Remove the grease from the pan, leaving just a couple teaspoons to cook the garlic.

  • In the same saucepan, reduce the heat to low and add the asparagus. Saute for 5 minutes, until almost tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

  • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to instructions. If using fresh pasta, it should only take 2-3 minutes for al dente.

  • When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use for the sauce, then drain the rest. Add the pasta to the large sauce pan. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, stirring or tossing to combine. Finally, add in ½ cup of the pasta water, stirring until a nice light sauce forms. If the pasta looks dry, add a few more splashes of the pasta water.

  • Finally, toss in the pancetta or bacon, asparagus, lemon zest and cheese to finish! Sprinkle with more parmesan to serve.

 Dive in!





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