My e-mail from Eating Well couldn’t have come around at a better time. Inside, a link that would take me to about 25 different recipes which utilized asparagus. And I was swimming in asparagus thanks to my CSA bin having back-to-back weeks with this vegetable. I love asparagus, so this isn’t an issue, but I haven’t used asparagus too much in my cooking, so sometimes I need a little inspriation.
I used to be a subscriber to Eating Well magazine. But life got a little busy, so I had to let some of my subscriptions go. And, sadly, this was one of them. But I still get a few special e-mails regardless, mostly with recipes. And, when I showed this one to my roommate, I informed her that we had every ingredient that was needed for the recipe in the fridge or pantry at home.
I knew what dinner was going to be. I made a couple of adjustments to fit my dietary needs.
But nothing could be simpler to make! Looking for a new way to enjoy pasta and work some asparagus into the menu? Give this recipe a shot.
Recipe: Gluten-Free Lemony Asparagus Pasta
Time: Prep 15 minutes; Cook 20 minutes
- 4 ounces pasta (the original recipe uses penne, but I had DeBoles Gluten-Free Rice Spaghetti Style Noodles on hand)
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup whole milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard (I used Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard)
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (I used Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Multipurpose Flour)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I used cayenne pepper…for spice!)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (vegan Parmesan can be substituted)
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Cook gluten-free rice pasta for 4 minutes.
Add asparagus and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta.
Stir 1/4 cup Parmesan into the pasta until combined.
Serve the pasta topped with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
What I loved about this dish was the lemon tang in the sauce coupled with the slight heat I added by using Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. The sauce is light, especially with my decision to keep this lactose-free by using almond milk instead of whole milk (which my stomach would have hated). The sauce still gets thickened and creamy and coats the pasta deliciously well.
The crisp asparagus coupled with the al dente pasta and the creamy sauce make a fantastic treat for the palate. My roommate and I both loved this dish and can’t wait to make it again…when we have more asparagus.
Give it a try. It’s super easy to prepare. The lemon really livens up and makes the dish! Don’t skip it. And if asparagus isn’t your thing…change it up and use a vegetable that you enjoy!