April is officially asparagus season! In-season actually runs from March to June but April is when asparagus is at its prime. I can’t get enough, and one of my favorite ways to celebrate asparagus is with lemon in my lemon asparagus pasta recipe. The star ingredient in this easy pasta dinner recipe is obviously asparagus, but the creamy lemon sauce with a dash of Parmesan makes it irresistible and the prefect way to celebrate Spring.
Delicious Pasta with Vegetables
Yes, I slip in some peas because I love them and it adds even more green to this beautiful pasta dish. The trick to this recipe is to use the pasta water in the sauce. The starch from starchy water not only adds flavor helps thicken the sauce and glue the pasta and sauce together. If the sauce is getting too thick just add a splash of plain water.
You can refrigerate leftovers (if you have any) for up to 5 days.
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Lemon Asparagus Pasta Serving Tips
- While this recipe is vegetarian, feel free to add some thick smokey bacon (cooked first) to really punch up the flavor.
- Add a dash of red pepper flakes for an added kick.
- Serve with a simple green salad with a garlicky vinaigrette and crusty bread for an easy meal.
- To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.
- To make it vegan or dairy-free, swap out the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast and the cream with a plant-based cream.
- Pair with a crisp, dry Pinot Grigio. Red wines might be too overpowering for the subtle flavors of this pasta dish.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta
Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 12 oz penne pasta
- 1 lb asparagus, ends removed and cut into 2” pieces
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 oz heavy cream
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup pasta water
- Shredded parmesan for serving
- Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions.
- Add chopped asparagus and frozen peas to the pasta water and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the remainder. Set pot of pasta and veggies aside.
- In a large skillet on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and spices. Stir and allow the cream to come to a low simmer. Adjust spices and/or lemon juice to taste.
- Pour the creamy sauce over the pot of pasta and veggies. Toss to combine.
- Stir in ¼ cup of pasta water at a time until desired sauce consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan and a dash of extra crushed red pepper.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 169mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g
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