Follow by Email:
Like us on facebook


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce




Photo courtesy of Mark Hoffman

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is such a lovely dish. Its simplicity works well as a pasta course for more formal meals or as a light entrée for a family supper. It would also be a perfect meal for Meatless Monday. I don't much bother with asparagus once our local season is over. I've become spoiled by the taste and price of the freshly harvested crop. That, of course, means we eat a lot of asparagus in various guises at this time of year. One of the things I love about this recipe, developed by Faith Willinger for her book "Red, White and Greens: The Italian Way with Vegetables," is that no part of the asparagus is wasted. Without the help of butter or cream, the stalks become a wonderfully silken sauce that naps penne pasta in a pale green sauce that speaks of Spring. The dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare and it uses five readily available ingredients. It really gets no easier than this. The pasta should be served as soon as it is dressed and served in warmed bowls if possible. This does not hold up well. The dish tends to lose its silken texture as it sits and it becomes gummy when reheated. The recipe can be halved or doubled if need be, so it is perfect for small families or large gatherings. I know you'll love this. Here's the recipe for a wonderful Spring treat.

Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Faith Heller Willinger

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virigin olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, keeping tips separate. Cook stems in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 6 minutes. The recommended ratio of salt to water is 1 tablespoon for every 2 quarts of water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer stems to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set color. Keep water in pot boiling. Drain stems well and place in a blender jar or bowl of a food processor.
2) Cook asparagus tips in same boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain and set aside. Do not put in blender jar.
3) Add lemon zest, olive oil and 1/2 cup of asparagus cooking liquid to asparagus stems and puree. Transfer to a 4-quart saucepan. Set aside.
4) Cook penne in same pot of boiling water for three quarters of recommended cooking time. Reserve 2 cups of boiling liquid. Drain penne and add to sauce along with asparagus tips and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Cook over high heat, stirring to prevent sticking, for 3 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Add more water, a 1/4 cup at a time until sauce coats pasta but is a little loose. Stir in cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart - One Perfect Bite
Asparagus and Lemon Grass Risotto - One Perfect Bite
Spring Vegetable Ragout - One Perfect Bite

61 comments:

The Empress said...

Oh, asparagus and lemon sauce. What could be better!

This recipe is wonderful with all the Farmer's Markets starting up now, and the lemon is such a delight in the summer.

Fantastic. Thank you.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Sounds wonderful!

Cherine said...

Looks fantastic!

Alessandra said...

I really look forward to your meatless Mondays Mary!
Have a good week

A.

alwayswinner786 said...

Looks so fresh and delicious! A simple yet wonderful and healthy recipe!

Sushma Mallya said...

Hi Mary, it looks so fresh & beautiful...loved the recipe, so simple yet so delicious

Angie's Recipes said...

A simple delicious spring lunch!

Sophie said...

An easy yet so flavourful green asparagus dish!

I so love it!

MMMMMMMMMM,...

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have asparagus in the garden but it rarely gets as to reach the house. I love it fresh and raw as it is cut! Diane

Allie and Pattie said...

Some of my favorite ingredients- you had me at the title. Lovely!
xoxo Pattie

Koek! said...

Oh wow - growing one's own asparagus must be so rewarding... Gorgeous.
Robyn

MaryMoh said...

Healthy, simple and delicious. I love lemon and asparagus. This would make a lovely lunch for me...mmm.

A Year on the Grill said...

Mary, a great winner recipe... will be on my table soon

Big Dude said...

Looks simple and delicious and like you, we're spoiled on the great flavor and texture of the fresh from our garden asparagus.

My Little Space said...

The recipe sounds simply delicious. I love the tanginess in that pasta but a bit too pricy to get the asparagus here though. I'll definitely try this out soon. Have a fabulous day, Mary!
Cheers, Kristy

PeggyR said...

Oh yum! We will be trying this for dinner tonight along with our leftover BBQ from Sunday. Just bought asparagus yesterday!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mary, I too could certainly be spoiled by fresh asparagus. How fortunate you are! Lemon and asparagus seem to be a perfect marriage by themselves, but with your pasta ... ooh, la, la.
Sam

foodcreate said...

Beautiful ! perfect summer dish thank your sharing your recipe...

Rachana Kothari said...

A simple delicious recipe...
Have a great day, Mary!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

A terrific flavor combo that I must try while asparagus is so fresh.

Sweet Southern Prep said...

My sister made a recipe similar to this the other night. I'll have to send this to her, and get her to try this recipe as well, to compare.

Ana Powell said...

Really delicious. Loved the photos ♥

Tasha said...

What a wonderful recipe! I love how the asparagus stems are used to make a simple but fantastic sounding sauce!

Claudia said...

What a grand recipe - truly lets the fresh asparagus shine and with little waste. I would love to report on this for the Examiner. (With your permission) Either way, it will be on my dinner table this week.

Maria said...

I can't wait to try this sauce!

Meals by Misty said...

I might be the odd one out here, but I have NEVER seen asparagus growing before! I've never really thought about where it comes from. This probably makes me sound like an air head, but its true. I love this picture and recipe. So springy!

pigpigscorner said...

So simple and delicious! I just bought a bunch of asparagus and was just wondering what to do with them!

Dajana said...

A simply wonderful and delicious dish. I've used asparagus in the same way for a creamy risotto. I can't get enough of them. Too bad, their season's not longer.

Joe Ambrosino said...

Ah Mary! I anoint you as an Italian at Heart- a "perfect recipe"!

Joanne said...

This is ideal to use up some of the fresh asparagus that I've been seeing. I love that it uses the whole stalk!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

So lovely! I intended to plant asparagus this year, but did not get around to it. Perhaps next year. Though, I'm afraid I may get spoiled, like you, to the fresh harvest

Julia Writer said...

This recipe sounds delicious, asparagus is my favorite vegetable :)

Megan said...

Hey Mary! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love having visitors. My blog is so new I don't have very many :)

Your asparagus & lemon pasta looks delicious! My sweet tooth likes the look of the cherry pie, though! I love your blog. I'm gonna stay awhile and check out some more recipes!

DailyChef said...

Asparagus and lemon sounds like such an amazing combo for sauce. And indeed, I am drooling over the picture and description.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

I have never seen asperagus growing out of the ground. I can't believe that... especially since right here in MA we have tons of local farms growing them. Anyway, this pasta looks to tasty!

elra said...

Astonishing photo of the asparagus~ no wonder your pasta sounds really delicious Mary~

RamblingTart said...

OH!!! I've never actually seen asparagus in the ground before, Mary! Thanks for sharing that picture. It makes me happy. :-)

Eliana said...

It looks divine and like it would make for a perfect spring time meal.

sweetlife said...

a great dish for a spring party....

sweetlife

Debinhawaii said...

Such a bright and pretty pasta--love that lemon sauce with the asparagus and the parmesan.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This looks delicious, Mary! Does it get any better than penne with asparagus and lemon sauce? I think not.

And you are going to think this is a case of being deprived, but I don't think I have ever seen asparagus in the field. So that was neat!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Bellini Valli said...

I love that you are using the entire blade of asparagus. The more fibrous parts sure mayke a lovely soup!

Federica said...

buonissimi gli asparagi..questo piatto è davvero una bontà!! ciao!

lostpastremembered said...

One of my favorites, Mary. Does it get better than fresh asparagus from the garden and a simple sauce? Nope!

Julie said...

Asparagus is my favorite vegetable! I love this time of year because we can get it at the Farmer's Market. This sauce is a beautiful lemon color. Can't wait to give this one a try!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh, it looks so fresh!
Delightful!
LL

LD said...

Asperagus..so humble of origin yet so regal on the palette! I always forget to buy it thanks for the delicious reminder..

Ninette said...

Thank you for your wonderful words on my blog. I really needed them -- it's been a hard day on the house negotiating front. I haven't been able to blog for weeks but look forward to when we're moved and I can fire up the stove again.

Martha (MM) said...

What a perfect recipe - just what I've been craving. It's on the menu for tomorrow. Thanks Mary :-)

Jeannie said...

Love that photo of asparagus plant. I have never seen an asparagus plant before can you believe that? A different flavour from the usual pasta dishes. Will give it a try. Thanks!

Erica said...

This sounds really delicious, what a great idea!I’m a big fan of asparagus!

Sarah said...

Sounds delicious and elegant. I love recipes that are like this - I have all the ingredients in my house!

tasteofbeirut said...

This is so funny! i made penne today too! This is lovely and so light, yeah!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I can't wait to try this with local asparagus. Penne and lemon sauce - I will definitely love this! Thank you Mary!

Little Inbox said...

Oh, so jealous, I can't have such quality of fresh asparagus here. :(
Love the meatless pasta.

Krista said...

What a wonderful recipe! I love the idea of not wasting any part of the asparagus. I hate throwing away the woody part of the stalk, especially at the price!

Sometimes we get a truckload of Michigan asparagus at my grandma's house and then we all work to freeze it for future meals. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the truck comes this summer. I'm out and it's quite possibly my favorite vegetable.

I'll have to try this recipe for sure!

Sandi said...

wow that looks great Mary....I love asparagus and lemon and pasta....perfect combo!!!

Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

I love asparagus and I recently discovered their great taste if you grill them!

Amanda said...

This bread looks AMAZING :)

pegasuslegend said...

sounds wonderful I have to try this!~

Foodycat said...

What a stunning way to use fresh asparagus! I have to try this while asparagus is in season.

AddThis

Related Posts with Thumbnails