Pasta with Asparagus Sauce

February  5, 2019
3 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I found this recipe over 20 years ago in the food section of the Philadelphia Inquirer and it has become a go to recipe. Very simple to make and for anyone who doesn't like asparagus, this will change your mind! —Rick

What You'll Need
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil (to saute asparagus tips)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil (for sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 cup reserved cooking water
  • 1 pound Pasta (penne or orecchiette work great)
  1. Wash the asparagus. Cut off the tips and place them in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Snap about 1 inch off the bottom of the asparagus stalks and discard thse pieces.
  3. Chop the remaining stalks into 1/2"pieces and place in a pot of about 3 cups of boiling water.
  4. Cook until slightly firm, about 8-10 minutes. Drain, saving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat 1 tsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus tips and saute them, shaking the pan occasionally, until cooked to your liking. (watch so they don't burn) Lower heat if necessary. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked stalks, remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3/4 cup cheese, the lemon zest, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Blend until smooth. Check the sauce for consistency. If you like it thinner, add a little more cooking water and process again.
  7. Cook your pasta per package and combine with sauce. Top pasta servings with asparagus tips, more parmesan and lemon wedges squeezed over each serving.
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