When I cook, I try not to add more fat that I should. While Cornelius could stand to “fatten up”, I’m always trying to fight the good fight. I’ve always been quite content and even pleased with how many dishes have turned out when I’ve used skim milk instead of cream or done away with adding butter or added cheese. But sometimes you’ve got to give in to the primal urges of forbidden foods. As I looked in my fridge and tried to figure out what I’d make for dinner, I had already half way decided to make Kayak Soup’s Healthy Spring Pasta…but then something in me snapped. I always end up making the healthy version of something (not that there’s anything wrong with that at all). This time, I wanted to be bad and endulge in something naughty. So I walked over to the corner grocer and picked up a small bottle of heavy cream. My dinner plans were set.
Oh my…so worth every fantastic calorie! The sauce tasted light and lemony and the tender asparagus was sweet and perfect. When dinner was done, I was tempted to lick the pot when it was empty. Who am I kidding…I most certainly licked it all up. Definitely a springtime treat.
lemon asparagus pasta
1 large bunch of asparagus
250 g bow-tie pasta
1 t salt
3 T butter
3/4 c heavy cream
2 T freshly grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 t salt (optional)
1/3 c finely chopped parsley
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1. Prepare asparagus by snapping off the bottom tough ends & then snapping each stalk into 1 inch pieces.
2. In a large pot, boil water and add 1 heaping teaspoon of salt. Add pasta. When pot comes back to a boil again, put prepared asparagus into a large metal colander, place over the boiling pot and cover the asparagus with the pot lid. One and a half minutes into the steaming process, take tongs and gently toss asparagus, replacing lid for another one minute and a half. Remove colander and rinse asparagus under cold water until cool. The asparagus should be crisp-tender. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a smaller pot, combine lemon juice, butter and cream over moderately low heat. Stir in zest then remove pot from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the cream sauce.
4. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add in the asparagus and parsley and combine well. Add the cream sauce and parmesan chees and cook over moderate heat, tossing until heated through. Taste and add remaining salt if necessary.