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Delicious Asparagus Penne

It’s Spring, well, so they say as the weather so far hasn’t been the best but Spring means asparagus is in season.  I love asparagus!  I found this recipe in the “Rachel Ray’s Big Orange Book”. It makes a great side dish when serving fish.   The recipe serves 6-8 but is easily halved.  Taste like Spring!

  • salt (for pasta water)
  • 1 lb thin asparagus, trimmed of ends
  • 1 lb  penne
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock (or chicken broth)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • salt & black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped, a couple of sprigs (or use 2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. Drop the asparagus in for 3-4 minutes, then remove, drain, and chop into 2-inch pieces. Add the pasta to the water and cook to al dente.
  2. To a skillet placed over medium heat, add the EVOO and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the garlic and gently cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Whisk in the stock, half and half, mustard, and lemon zest. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and tarragon, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Add the lemon juice, and gently toss the asparagus and pasta with the sauce to coat. Turn off the heat and adjust the salt and pepper to taste, then top with grated cheese and serve.  Serves 6-8                                                                                                                                                                

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