Creamy Pasta in Asparagus Sauce

I have to attribute this recipe find to my good friend Desiree.  And it reminds me that I should probably swap more recipes with her.  One day I was up visiting at her place and she said she thought it would be fun to exchange recipes with people whenever they found good ones and then she handed me a couple good recipes she’d discovered lately.  This was on of those.  It honestly looks like she just cut it from the side of a box.  I love it cuz it’s easy and can be thrown together pretty quick.  I usually serve it with some chicken sausage on the side for my carnivorous husband who thinks a meal without meat can’t be constituted as dinner.

CREAMY PASTA IN ASPARAGUS SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (12 oz) of pasta they suggest pipette (I used a 1 lb box of whole wheat penne so I  1 1/2 the sauce portion of the recipe)
  • 1 lb of asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I usually only do 1/2 lb of asparagus and add in other veggies too for variety today I added mushrooms and zucchini)
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 3 Tb flour
  • 1 C half and half
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp grund nutmeg
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding veggies during last 2 minutes of cook time.  Drain reserving 1 C pasta water.  Return pasta and asparagus to pot.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add flour; stir 2 minutes.  Whisk in half and half, broth and seasoning.  Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  Stir in lemon zest.
  3. Add sauce to hot pasta; toss, adding reserved pasta water to desired consistency (I often don’t add any of the pasta water back in, but I suppose it would smooth out the sauce and give more of that asparagus flavor to the sauce).
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and chopped parsley.
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