Creamy Asparagus Pasta
Lemon zest ties all the flavors together in this light and creamy pasta. Make it a meal: Serve with a salad of sliced fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes tossed with a little fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- 8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 4 teaspoons flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragonor ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
- Stir the sauce into the pasta-asparagus mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup Parmesan. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS