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Fast & Easy Dinner: Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Fast & Easy Dinner: Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus is the star ingredient in this delightful pasta dinner. Don't be afraid of the whole milk in the recipe, it's necessary to make the sauce thick and creamy.

Lemon zest, tarragon, and grainy mustard ensure that it's not overly rich but fresh and flavorful. Whole-wheat pasta adds another healthy and well-balanced dimension. For the vegetarian recipe,


Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Creamy Asparagus Pasta


8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
4 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
  5. Stir the sauce into the pasta-asparagus mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Serves 4.

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stacydances stacydances 7 years
I made this tonight, except I wimped out on the mustard seeds. Ended up seasoning it with fresh rosemary (just a pinch), tarragon and a pinch of ground mustard. Pretty good. Needed A LOT of salt and pepper. Serve with garlic bread because it is delicious.
Asche Asche 7 years
Sorry...meant to write teaspoon!
Asche Asche 7 years
This pasta is NOT good. I followed this recipe exactly--it turned out horribly. Since it's quick, I thought I would try it again (had some leftover pasta). It was even worse. There is far too much lemon juice added (a teaspoon would even be too much) and the grainy mustard adds an odd texture and flavor that overpowers everything else. I think a better recipe would be replacing the tarragon with parsley, cutting out the mustard (or adding only 1 or 2 tablespoons), and replacing the lemon juice with a splash of truffle oil. I love food, am a decent cook, and love all the ingredients of the original recipe--just not necessarily together in one dish.
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