Pasta with asparagus and lemon sauce

    40 min

    A quick midweek vegetarian pasta dish with asparagus and a creamy lemon sauce that is ready in about 35 minutes. The whole family loves it.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 lemons
    • 450g penne pasta
    • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 350g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 3 tablespoons plain flour
    • 180ml double cream
    • 350ml vegetable stock, or more to taste
    • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 pinch sugar, or to taste
    • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 40g freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Zest and juice 1 1/2 lemons. Slice remaining lemon half into wedges and set aside.
    2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add penne pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 mug 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. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes. Whisk in cream and vegetable stock and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
    5. Stir lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley into the sauce; season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Add asparagus and heat through, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and pasta to the sauce and pour in some of the reserved cooking water. Serve with shaved Parmesan and lemon wedges.

    Parmesan cheese:

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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