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

Grated 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.


Cooking directions:

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!