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Monday, April 4, 2011

Ushering in Spring: Lemon, Dill and Asparagus Pasta

Spring has been slow in coming here in Kentucky.  We had a few beautiful days before the temperatures plummeted again to snow-like temperatures.  Regardless, asparagus is coming into season, and partly because I look forward to this time every year and partly because I was desperate to force a little spring into our lives, I bought two pounds of asparagus last weekend.

I usually just oven roast it with a little olive oil, but I wanted something a little sunnier.  I opted for this Lemon, Dill and Asparagus Pasta.  I never thought dill and asparagus would go well together, but this was a bright, flavorful and quick dinner--it took longer for the water to boil than it did to actually cook the dish.

And when asparagus is out of season?  I'll be substituting green beans.  This is seasonal cooking at its best.
Lemon, Dill and Asparagus Pasta
Adapted from Simply in Season
Serves 4-6

1/2 box (8 oz.) angel hair pasta
2 1/2 cups asparagus, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbl butter
1/2 cup green onions
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
3 Tbl lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp dried dill (or 1 Tbl fresh)
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pepper to taste

Put water on to boil in a large pot.  While you are waiting for it to boil, prepare your other ingredients--this comes together pretty quickly once you start cooking.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 4 minutes.  Add the asparagus and cook for two more minutes.  Drain and set aside if the other vegetables aren't ready yet.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the green onions, lemon peel and garlic and saute for one minute.  Add the lemon juice and cook until the lemon juice is almost evaporated, about two more minutes.  Turn the heat down to very low.

Beat together the eggs and milk with a whisk.  Add the pasta and asparagus to the pan along with the milk mixture.  Cook over low heat until it becomes slightly thick, about two to four minutes.  Do not boil.

Stir in dill, salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Serve immediately.

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ateenagegourmet April 4, 2011 at 11:53 AM  

I like that you used milk instead of cream. Was it still rich enough?

Mindy April 4, 2011 at 12:18 PM  

It seemed rich enough to me, but I wasn't looking for richness. I was more interested in a light lemony flavor. It didn't really create much of a sauce--it mostly just clung to the noodles. If you wanted more of a rich sauce, you could use cream (and a little more than called for).

Kathy - Panini Happy April 4, 2011 at 3:59 PM  

I absolutely love the sound of this spring pasta. It's going on the meal plan for next week.

Congrats on the new site, Mindy - it looks great!

Chef E April 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM  

I love this kind of pasta! Gourmet and simple at the same time...love the new look of your blog!

Mindy April 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM  

Thanks, Kathy and ChefE! I'm liking it too...it's more my style. :-)

The Culinary Lens April 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM  

Citrus flavors work so well with asparagus... A very nice springtime dish..Thank you for sharing

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