A friend made this for us once, just after our first baby came into the world. Exhausted, unable to focus on making food for ourselves, this rich, springtime dish was the perfect salve for hungry, new parents.
The proportions here serve 4 adults. We often halve it.
Here's what you need and how you do it
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 pound bow-tie pasta
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
3/4 cup heavy cream, half-and-half or plain Silk creamer
2 teaspoons freshly-grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh, flat parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
Grated parmesan cheese
Steam asparagus until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a sauce pan. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
In a deep skillet, heat butter and cream over moderately low heat until butter is melted. Stir in zest, lemon juice and salt.
Ladle 1/4 cup pasta water into sauce and drain pasta.
Immediately add pasta and asparagus to sauce in skillet. Cook and toss until warmed through. Add parsley, pepper and top with parmesan.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here.