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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Penne Pasta Salad

Fresh lemon zest ties all the flavors
together in this light and creamy pasta.
Serve with a salad of sliced fresh mozzarella,
cherry tomatoes tossed with fresh basil,
balsamic vinegar and olive oil,
this is a good one!

1/2 pound penne pasta
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in pieces
1 1/2 cups 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
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook for 15 minutes.
Add asparagus and continue cooking
until the pasta and asparagus are tender.
Drain and return to the warm pot.
In a mixing bowl combine milk, mustard,
flour, salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan
over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook,
stirring, until fragrant and browned.
Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer,
stirring constantly, and cook until thickened.
Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
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.

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