This creamy lemon pasta is simple to make yet decadent, punctuated by thin strips of lemon zest and tender-crisp asparagus pieces to ring in spring flavors!

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Asparagus

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Caroline Lindsey
This creamy lemon pasta is simple to make yet decadent, punctuated by thin strips of lemon zest and tender-crisp asparagus pieces to ring in the spring flavors!
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Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta fettuccini or wide egg noodles
  • 1 bunch asparagus about a pound
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons zest cut in very thin strips about an inch long
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • Zest your two lemons using a vegetable peeler. Slice off any white pith from the inside of your zest pieces so it won't be bitter, then thinly slice into pieces about an inch long. This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, so if you want to save some time, just use a regular microplane zester on your lemons. You won't have the nice strips of zest in your pasta, but it will still taste great!
  • Juice the lemons and set aside.
  • Prepare asparagus as follows: Snap off tough ends by holding asparagus in about the middle with one hand, and at the fat end with the other hand. Bend until it snaps naturally, and discard the end. Repeat for each asparagus stalk. Cut into one-inch pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook pasta according to package directions or until al dente. About 2 minutes before the pasta is finished, add the asparagus to the pasta pot. Drain pasta and asparagus, then return to the pot.
  • Just before the noodles and asparagus are done, combine cream, lemon zest (not the juice yet), salt, and a generous amount of pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring so it doesn't burn.
  • Pour cream mixture over noodles, along with lemon juice, and stir to coat. If you are not a diehard lemon lover, you may want to add the lemon juice a little at a time, to taste. Depending on the size of your lemons and your particular level of lemon tolerance, you may not want to use all of the juice. I, personally, use all of it. 
  • Cook over medium heat for a minute or two or until the liquid is mostly absorbed by the pasta. Serve, topped with additional freshly ground pepper. 

Notes