It’s always fun to find new and delicious recipes to try. One that I found was for pasta with asparagus puree & lemony ricotta posted on The Rustic Plate. The original recipe is delicious, but I have a habit of always wanting to make a recipe my own. I reworked the recipe into something that I think will be easy to put together for a weeknight meal or as a sneaky way to get vegetables into your kids’ diet.
An added bonus is the absence of meat, which makes this perfect for a Meat Free Monday dinner. The great thing is that this dish packs a lot of flavor and nutrition for very little money. As Jacques Pépin always says, “happy cooking!”
Creamy Asparagus Pasta with Lemon
- 2 bunches (about 2 pounds) of thin asparagus, trimmed of the woody parts
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated using a microplane (depending on your taste for garlic)
- 16 oz whole milk ricotta
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more for garnishing)
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds of penne pasta (amount depends on how much sauce you like with your pasta)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until just passed al dente.
- When the asparagus is cooked, remove it from the cooking water and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Place the asparagus into a food processor with the ricotta, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blitz everything until a smooth sauce has formed. Set the mixture aside.
- Drop the pasta into the water and set the timer for it to cook until it’s al dente.
- Take the sauce mixture and put it into a large pot with the butter. Heat the mixture on a medium to medium-low flame as you wait for the pasta to finish.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it (save some of the water, just in case you need it to thin the sauce) and toss it into the pot with the sauce. Toss the mixture to coat. Add the lemon zest and some additional salt and pepper.
- Serve the pasta in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.