Rating: 5 stars
6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

A quick midweek vegetarian pasta dish with asparagus and a creamy lemon sauce. I always use organic lemons whenever I use the zest.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins
40 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Zest and juice 1 1/2 lemons. Cut remaining lemon half into wedges and set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.

  • While penne is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium heat and cook asparagus until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from pot.

  • Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and heat until a pinch of flour sprinkled into the pot will just begin to bubble. Whisk in flour to form a thick paste the consistency of cake frosting. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes. Whisk in cream and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley into the sauce; season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Add asparagus and heat through, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and penne to the sauce and pour in some of the reserved cooking water. Serve with shaved Parmesan and lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts

811 calories; protein 24.8g; carbohydrates 103.8g; fat 37.2g; cholesterol 108.1mg; sodium 512mg. Full Nutrition