Pasta, asparagus, lemon and cheese are some of the key ingredients you need to make this Creamy Asparagus Pasta. That’s right! A delicious and healthy pasta sauce recipe without cream! Are you intrigued?
If I told you that you can create a luscious, creamy pasta sauce without cream that tastes amazing, would you believe me?
As you probably know, I love to transform seasonal vegetables into creamy sauces, all without the addition of cream or milk.
I am thrilled to finally share another one of my favorites -a delicious pasta with asparagus recipe.
This is a simple pasta meal that comes together in under 30 minutes!
Are you as excited as I am? I can’t wait to share…
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While waiting for this to happen, prepare the asparagus.
Rinse the asparagus (1 bunch, about 2 pounds), snap off and discard the tough ends.
Cut off the tips, about 1½ inches from the rest of the stalk and set aside.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, cook the stalks for about 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Cook the pasta (1 pound) in the same water according to package instructions. The pasta of choice today is Gemelli, Italian for twins. As you can see, two strands of pasta are intertwined together.
Add the asparagus tips during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
While the pasta cooks, puree the cooked stalks with the lemon juice (⅓ cup), olive oil (⅓ cup) and roasted garlic clove (optional). Note: I always have a roasted garlic head in my refrigerator and often use the cloves as a flavor enhancer.
The use of a handheld blender creates the perfect asparagus puree – such a smooth consistency!
Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid and drain the pasta. Return pasta to the same pot. Add the sauce to the drained pasta and combine. Use pasta water if sauce appears too thick.
Add the grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (⅔ cup). Toss to combine and adjust seasonings.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Garnish with extra cheese and lemon zest (if desired).
- Use high-quality olive oil. The fruitiness of the olive oil pairs well with the mild earthy undertones of asparagus.
- Use short textured pasta. Any short pasta with ridges works really well with vegetable pasta dishes like this one. The little crevices make it the perfect vehicle to capture the sauce. Cavatelli is another great choice.
Easy asparagus recipes we love
As a dietitian with a strong Italian upbringing, I love combining pasta with different vegetables. As a result, I sometimes get carried away when local, seasonal vegetables are available.
One of the vegetables this often happens with is fresh asparagus.
Over the years, my daughter developed a reputation of making the best asparagus pesto, inspired by a Mark Bittman recipe… stay tuned!
She also adapted this asparagus pasta recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant Favorites Cookbook. It is now a family favorite recipe, especially in the spring.
Light tasting, vibrant looking and so delicious… the perfect spring asparagus recipe!
I hope you get a chance to try it!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this asparagus and pasta recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Creamy Asparagus Pasta
- 2 pounds asparagus
- 1 pound pasta 454 grams, short shaped pasta
- ⅓ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin, for the sauce
- 1 clove garlic oven roasted (optional)
- ⅔ cup pecorino romano cheese or parmesan cheese grated
- lemon zest for garnish (optional)
- Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, let's prep the asparagus.
- Rinse the asparagus, snap off and discard the tough ends. Cut off the tips (about 1½ inches) from the rest of the stalk and set aside.
- When the water comes to a rolling boil, cook the asparagus stalks for about 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in the same water according to package instructions. Add the asparagus tips during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- While the pasta cooks, use a hand held blender to puree the cooked asparagus stalks, lemon juice, olive oil and roasted garlic clove together until a smooth consistency is achieved.
- Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
- Return the drained pasta to the pot, add the sauce and combine. Use pasta water if sauce appears too thick.
- Add the grated cheese. Toss to combine.
- Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately. Garnished with extra grated cheese and/or lemon zest.
- Use a high-quality olive oil. The fruitiness of the olive oil pairs well with the mild earthy undertones of asparagus.
- Use short textured pasta. Any short pasta with ridges works really well with vegetable pasta dishes. The little crevices make it the perfect vehicle to capture the sauce.