This lemon asparagus pasta is an easy 30-minute meal perfect for any night of the week! Pasta is tossed in a creamy, silky, lemony sauce with sautéed asparagus, shallots, & toasted almonds. It's a simple dinner recipe that everyone will love!
Creamy, lemony, therapeutic pasta with sautéed asparagus, shallots, 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.
But even if the sun doesn't come out tomorrow you can bet your bottom dollar that we will still have this dreamy pasta to pull us through.
🌟 Meet your new favorite pasta recipe!
Fun, twisted casarecce pasta is tossed with fresh, perfectly sautéed asparagus in a silky, creamy sauce finished off with a bright splash of lemon. What more do we need? Not much, except maybe a glass of wine to go with it.
This creamy lemon asparagus pasta is an awesome dinner to keep in your back pocket for:
- A quick and easy 30-minute weeknight meal that the whole family will love
- A fancy-ish stay-at-home date night meal, oooh-la-la
- A springtime holiday meal (perfect for Easter or Mother's Day)
- When you're on the hook to entertain and need a tasty, simple dinner idea that the whole gang will love. Your book club may end up wanting you to host every time, so just be ready.
- It's truly perfect for any occasion!
It's a springtime pasta that definitely gets all the likes and heart emojis.
🛒 Ingredients and suggestions
- Gluten-free pasta: The shape, and the type of pasta, is really up to you but casarecce pasta is definitely a good place to start. This short, twisted pasta with its curled edges and groove down the middle makes it perfect for the creamy lemony sauce to adhere to. Brand suggestion: Jovial Gluten-Free Casarecce
- Gluten-free all purpose flour: Used to create a roux that serves as a thickening agent for the dreamy, creamy lemon sauce. Brand suggestion: Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- Sliced almonds: Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan and stirring until just golden brown. They add the perfect finishing touch to this pasta. If you're allergic to nuts, the pasta will still be tasty without them.
- Soft goat cheese: Also known as chèvre. I LOVE using this cheese when making a creamy sauce. It easily melts into a perfect sauce-like consistency and is mild in flavor with just a slight tang. Herbed or plain goat cheese are both delish options for the sauce. Brand suggestion: LaClare Family Creamery or Montchevre
- Unsalted butter: I always use unsalted butter in my recipes so that I can control how much salt is in my food, and avoid the risk of my food being too salty.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
Step 2: Reserve a cup of the pasta water in case you need to thin the creamy lemon sauce out at a later point.
Step 3: Melt butter in a large skillet.
Step 4: Sauté the asparagus and shallots for just a few minutes. Toss in some garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Then remove the asparagus mixture from the skillet and set it aside.
Step 5: In the same skillet used to cook the asparagus mixture, melt some butter and add some gluten-free all purpose flour.
Step 6: Then whisk, whisk, whisk, breaking up all of those little buttery flour clumps.
Step 7: Add broth and heavy cream, whisking all the while. Things are starting to get fun now.
Step 8: Add the goat cheese, whisking until smooth, silky, and creamy, and you begin to feel that inner pull to just dunk your face in it.
Step 9: Finish it off by adding a big splash of fresh lemon juice. The lemon gives the sauce a bright and cheery zing bringing some balance to the rich, creamy sauce.
Step 10: Add the cooked pasta and stir it all around until you go weak in the knees from excitement.
Step 11: Add the asparagus mixture and give it all another stir, until everything is coated in creamy bliss.
Step 12: Top with toasted slivered almonds. Eat and be happy.
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- Save the pasta water! Reserve just a cup or so of the pasta water in case you need it for later. Some like their creamy pasta sauce thicker and some like it thinner. Pasta water is the key to helping the cream sauce reach the perfect consistency. If the sauce is a little too thick after you've added the pasta and asparagus mixture to it, just add a few tablespoons of pasta water at a time until it reaches the perfect silky consistency that you enjoy.
- Don't overcook your pasta! Mushy pasta is not very tasty. Make sure you follow the cooking duration specified for 'al dente' pasta listed on your pasta packaging. Different shaped kinds of pasta require different cooking durations. It can also vary from brand to brand. The pasta will also continue cooking just a bit when added to the hot creamy lemon sauce which is another reason why we want to avoid overcooking it. ('Al dente' simply means that the pasta is cooked so as to be still firm to the bite but not undercooked.)
💭 Frequently asked questions
The end of an asparagus stalk is woody and fibrous, not something that is tasty to eat. The easiest way to remove the tough asparagus ends is to simply snap them off. Asparagus will naturally bend at the spot that should be removed. However, if you don't feel like snapping the ends, you can always just cut the ends off with a knife. Then, with your knife, continue cutting the asparagus into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Everyone loves a good time-saving hack but I wouldn't recommend cooking the asparagus with the pasta. The flavor gained from sauteeing the asparagus with the shallots, garlic, and butter will far exceed anything you'll get from boiling it with the pasta and it will maintain a crisp bite versus a potentially mushy bite.
Penne or farfalle (also known as bow-tie or butterfly pasta) would also be tasty short pasta options to try. If you prefer a long pasta, my recommendation would be linguine or fettuccine. Keep in mind that the sauce will adhere to different pasta shapes in different ways based on how 'groovy' the pasta is and whether or not bronze dies were used to cut the pasta into shape. Bronze die cut pasta gives the pasta a course texture allowing the sauce to better grip or coat the pasta.
Grilled salmon, shrimp, or chicken would be amazing. If you'd like to keep your meal vegetarian, this Arugula Spinach Salad with Winter Citrus would be divine as well.
When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh...hey dreamy, creamy, lemony pasta! That's how the song goes right? ♡
🎥 Watch how to make this recipe!
✨ More tasty pasta recipes!
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Update Notes: This post was originally published in May 2017, but was re-published with updated photos, step-by-step instructions, recipe tips, and FAQs in May 2022.
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