Lemon Pasta with Asparagus
(Reprinted with permission from Little Meals by Rozanne Gold)
This is a delicious spring meal created many years ago for the Rainbow Room by Chef and cookbook author Rozanne Gold. When the asparagus start showing up in our local green markets, I rush to make this dish. Sometimes I use half and half to save on the calories. But, I have to admit, the heavy cream makes the dish so much dreamier.
1 cup white wine
3 Tablespoons chopped shallots
Juice of 2 lemons
Granted rind of 2 lemons
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces
10 blanched asparagus stalks, cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ pound fresh fettucine, cooked al dente (I cheat and use boxed!)
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon chives, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh basil or mint, minced.
1. Pour white wine into a pan with the shallots. Reduce over moderate heat to one-half and strain. Return shallots to pan.
2. Add lemon juice and rind. Simmer 2 minutes.
3. Add heavy cream. Bring to a boil, lower heat and add 1/3 cup cheese. Simmer very slowly, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Cut in cold butter and cook 1 minute.
4. Add asparagus, cooked pasta, cheese, salt and a pinch of cayenne. Toss well.
5. Divide evenly into heated soup plates. Sprinkle lemon zest and fresh herbs on top. Serve at once.
Makes: 4 servings
Wine recommendations: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco, Chenin Blanc or a nice Rosé from anywhere!