The Best Asparagus Lemon Pasta

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

I came across this at Epicurious and fell in love, and its been elsewhere. Years of looking for the lemon pasta I remembered as a child, and finally found it. Tweaked it a little to my own taste, replacing parsley with fresh basil and using linguine. If you don't have tender asparagus, the europes best frozen ones are far better than woody fresh ones. Do NOT substitute lighter creams, it just does not work that well.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal, or just into 3 pieces.
  2. In a steamer set over boiling water steam asparagus, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. set aside.
  3. In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta.
  4. In a deep 12-inch skillet heat butter and cream over moderately low heat until butter is melted and stir in zest, lemon juice, and salt. Remove skillet from heat and keep sauce warm, covered.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Ladle 1/4 cup pasta water into sauce and drain pasta in colander.
  6. Immediately add pasta and asparagus to sauce and cook over moderate heat, tossing, 1 minute, or until heated through. Add basil and salt and pepper to taste and toss well.
  7. Sprinkle pasta with a little Parmesan and serve more Parmesan on the side.
Most Helpful

Wonderfully delicious - this dish made a lovely dinner and would be perfect for any special occasion! The flavors are really delicious -- loved the lemon and parmesan - added a bit extra of both. Next time, I may add a little twist to this dish by adding a few grilled shrimp on top - YUM! Can't wait to have this dish again! Made for Everyday is a Holiday tag, February, 2012.

Nancy's Pantry February 16, 2012

Just delicious. I keep coming back to this recipe. As others have said, I just add the asparagus to the pasta 3 mins before the end of its cooking time rather than cooking it before and it works perfectly. Thanks very much for posting this here.

Miss Pandora April 23, 2010

I embellished a bit by adding chopped sun dried tomatoes for a bit of zing, some chopped fresh spinach and grated mozzarella as well. I had some leftover roasted asparagus that I used. Great way to use up leftovers, and the spinach helps me get some added veggies.

medicinewomanmarketing October 20, 2015