Penne With Asparagus-lemon Sauce

Recipe by TishT
READY IN: 50mins




  • Snap the tough butt ends off the asparagus or peel to the tender core.
  • Cut the stmes into 1" pieces.
  • Reserve the asparagus tips Bring 5-6 qts water to rolling boil, add 2-3 Tbs salt, and cook asparagus stems for 6-8 minutes until soft and totally tender.
  • Remove stems with slotted spoon, refresh in cold water, and drain Cook the tips in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes until tender, remove with a slotted spoon, refresh in cold wate, and drain.
  • Reserve asparagus cooking water.
  • Puree the stems in a food processor with lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup asparagus cookign water, and salt and pepper to taste; transfer the sauce to a 3 qt pot.
  • Return the remaining asparagus cooking water to a rolling boil, add the pasta, and cook until it still offers considerable resistance to the tooth, around three quarters of the recommended cooking time.
  • Drain, reserving 2 cups of pasta water.
  • Add pasta, asparagus tips, and 1/2 cup starchy water to asparagus stem puree and cook ina 3 qt pot over highest heat, stirring for 3-5 minutes until pasta is almost cooked and sauce coats pasta.
  • Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if sauce becomes too dry.
  • Sauce should surround pasta but be slightly liquid since cheese will thicken it.
  • Add the grated Parmigiano, heat for an additional minute to melt the cheese and serve immediately.