Creamy, lemony, therapeutic pasta with sautéed asparagus and toasted almonds. Spring is finally here…I think. At least that’s what I’m hoping because I think we’re all about to go mental if the rain doesn’t agree to a truce.
Creamy lemon pasta with asparagus and toasted almonds has been a regular in my kitchen lately. Mostly because asparagus is in season and partly because I decided to wage a creamy lemon sauce battle. I knew how I wanted the creamy lemon sauce to taste but each time I made it something wasn’t quite right. The slightly obsessive compulsive side that shows its face when I’m in the kitchen cooking had to get it right, even if that meant the hubs and kidlets would end up eating the same thing slightly variated several times in one week.
Some of my best thinking happens in the kitchen. And sometimes no thinking at all, which is needed as well. The kitchen is where my mind finds space.
To just be….
…unless the kids are screaming at each other in the next room…or screaming at me because they just found out they’re going to be eating asparagus for the fifth day in a row. They were ready for my crazy lemon cream sauce battle to end.
The first rendition of the creamy lemon sauce was pretty bad…okay, really bad. I may have scarred the kids for life with that first one. The second rendition wasn’t a real prize winner either so that probably sealed the deal. But baby, perseverance pays off and the third time was dreamy!
And the kids loved it. (smiling and nodding my head up and down)
Cuz the SAUCE you guys…so perfectly creamy from the marriage of goat cheese and cream and then lightened and brightened with the zest and juice of a lemon. I yelled, “E VOILÀ!” and had a moment of pure Italian bliss (I’m not Italian). That could be French but the Italians say it too.
It was my turn to scream and the kids were confused. Maybe because mommy was screaming in another language. That kind of thing happens when you’ve lived in another country and get easily excited about food wins. But that silky, lemony, perfect sauce was promptly poured over some casarrece pasta and then topped off with sautéed asparagus, garlic, shallots, and toasted almonds. It was truly beautiful.
This creamy lemon pasta with asparagus and toasted almonds is an awesome dinner to keep in your back pocket for any occasion (think Easter or Mother’s Day). And the best part (besides that lemony sauce) is that it comes together in just 30 minutes. Gotta love those 30-minute meals that are so quick and simple but look and taste oh so fancy pants.
I hope you guys love this dish with all the passion of an Italian who’s not really Italian. If you make it, take a quick snapshot of it. Seriously, I really REALLY do want to see it. Send it to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (tag it #passmesometasty), Instagram Story it, email it, snail mail it, plaster it on a billboard in Portland. You get what I’m saying. I wanna see the food that you’re cooking up. It makes me happy. And I hope the food here makes you happy too.
Gluten free pasta is tossed in a creamy, lemony goat cheese sauce with sautéed asparagus & toasted almonds. An easy 30-minute meal perfect for family or guests!
- 12 oz. gluten free casarecce pasta
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 oz. goat cheese, plain or herbed, plus more for topping
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, washed, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3/4 cup finely chopped shallot
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, reserving a cup of the pasta water once the pasta has finished cooking. Then drain pasta and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and shallots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus mixture from skillet and set aside.
- To the same skillet used to cook the asparagus, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add flour and whisk to combine. Once combined slowly add broth in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Continuing to whisk, gradually add the heavy cream until the mixture becomes smooth. Once smooth add goat cheese and mix to combine until the goat cheese has completely melted and the sauce is smooth once again. Add salt and pepper to taste and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken on low heat.
- When the sauce has reached desired thickness, add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the sauce and stir to combine.
- To the cooked pasta, add the asparagus mixture, toasted almonds, and lemony cream sauce, tossing to combine. If you prefer your sauce to be thinner, use reserved pasta water a little bit at a time to thin sauce. (Note: This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of the lemony cream sauce which you may or may not want to use all of. So just add sauce to your pasta dish as desired and if you end up with extra you can store it in the refrigerator to be used later for another plate of pasta!)
- Serve immediately. Serve with extra goat cheese, toasted sliced almonds, and black pepper, if desired. Enjoy!
Random Note: The spelling of this particular shape of pasta is up for debate. Even between Italian pasta companies, one will spell it “casarecce” while the other spells it “caserecce.” I don’t know why. It seems that more frequently in the United States it’s spelled with an “a” and since that’s where I live, that’s how I spell it. Either way, when your mouth takes a bite of this creamy lemon pasta the importance of its spelling will just fade away.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Boil, Sauté
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: pasta, dinner, asparagus, gluten free recipe, creamy lemon pasta
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