Penne with Asparagus & Lemon Cream Sauce

Penne with Asparagus & Lemon Cream Sauce

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1999

Strike while the asparagus is fresh—it's loaded with nutrients, and gives this quick pasta the very taste of spring.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 12 ounces penne
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil


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  1. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and browned in places, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk ricotta and lemon zest in a large bowl. Cook penne until just tender, about 10 minutes. Measure out ¼ cup of the pasta-cooking water; stir into ricotta mixture until creamy. Drain the penne and mix into the ricotta mixture; toss to coat. Add the vegetables and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with basil.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 266 calories; 4 g fat(2 g sat); 8 g fiber; 48 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 112 mcg folate; 10 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 887 IU vitamin A; 10 mg vitamin C; 142 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 94 mg sodium; 334 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (28% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, ½ vegetable, ½ medium-fat meat

Reviews 1

July 25, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Bland and Not Creamy Does anyone have tips for cooking with ricotta? I keep trying it but just never like it as a substitute for fattier cheeses/butter in sauces. This was super fast and healthy but I didn't really enjoy it. Pros: Healthy, Quick Cons: Lacking in flavor, not at all creamy
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