lemon asparagus pasta
1 large bunch of asparagus
250 g bow-tie pasta
1 t salt
3 T butter
3/4 c heavy cream
2 T freshly grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 t salt (optional)
1/3 c finely chopped parsley
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1. Prepare asparagus by snapping off the bottom tough ends & then snapping each stalk into 1 inch pieces.
2. In a large pot, boil water and add 1 heaping teaspoon of salt. Add pasta. When pot comes back to a boil again, put prepared asparagus into a large metal colander, place over the boiling pot and cover the asparagus with the pot lid. One and a half minutes into the steaming process, take tongs and gently toss asparagus, replacing lid for another one minute and a half. Remove colander and rinse asparagus under cold water until cool. The asparagus should be crisp-tender. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a smaller pot, combine lemon juice, butter and cream over moderately low heat. Stir in zest then remove pot from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the cream sauce.
4. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add in the asparagus and parsley and combine well. Add the cream sauce and parmesan chees and cook over moderate heat, tossing until heated through. Taste and add remaining salt if necessary.