Friday, May 06, 2005

Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Creamy Asparagus Pasta (Adapted from Eating Well)

8 ounces dry whole-wheat penne pasta
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4" chunks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided

In a large pot of boiling salted water, Stir in pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Stir in asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 more minutes. Drain and return to the pot.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned - about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes - making sure to whisk constantly. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.

Pour sauce into the pasta mixture and stir until combined. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce is thick, creamy and thoroughly coats the pasta - about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1 ounce of Parmesan. Evenly divide mixture between 4 plates and top each with an even portion of the remaining Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.

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