Lemony Asparagus Pasta
Penne and asparagus are bathed in a rich sauce with a slight bite of mustard, lemon and Parmesan. This dish is lovely in early spring, when asparagus is at its peak and nights are still cool enough to inspire a craving for something rich and warm.
- 4 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta, (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 6 minutes. Add asparagus and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 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. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
- Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta. Stir 1/4 cup Parmesan into the pasta until combined. Serve the pasta topped with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Per serving: 396 calories; 12 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 27 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrates; 21 g protein; 6 g fiber; 604 mg sodium; 396 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (40% daily value), Folate (23% dv), Magnesium (19% dv), Vitamin A & Vitamin C (15% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 3
Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 whole milk, 1 lean meat
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