Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Creamy Asparagus Pasta

It might not be asparagus season anymore and I guess we’re pretty far from it now, huh?  So far from it that it feels like it will be asparagus season again in a few months!  I may be exaggerating, but it is getting cold out and even though I’ve been craving all things creamy and comforting, I just can’t give up on the warmer season veggies all together – not yet, anyway!  I had to get in one last spring/summer vegetable fix before I devote my kitchen to entirely to chili, hearty soups and all things squash!Creamy Asparagus Pasta

I had to merge my desire for summery vegetables with my need for comfort food…in comes this Creamy Asparagus Pasta!  I proclaimed my mad love for asparagus when I posted my Parmesan Asparagus Frittata earlier this year and even though I get completely bombarded by asparagus from my parent’s garden in spring, I just can’t get enough of it!  Did you know that established plants can keep  producing for up to 8 weeks?  That’s crazy!  I continue to crave this tasty veggie long after the stalks have stopped coming in and I must give into those cravings!  I love it grilled, or sauteed and topped with parmesan, but I think this pasta is a new favorite!Creamy Asparagus Pasta

I started  with a simple creamy alfredo sauce recipe, added a hint of lemon and some chopped asparagus, and ended up with an amazingly delicious dinner that I could eat any day of the year.  Yes, this was the perfect way to transition from fresh summer veggies to creamy and comforting!  I usually reserve something as heavy as a cream sauce for the colder months, but the subtle hint of lemon makes this dish feel light enough to enjoy even on warm days!  This sauce reheats very well, so I always make extra to pack in the hubby’s lunch!

Pasta with Asparagus and Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, rinsed and chopped
  • 8 oz. spaghetti noodles (1/2 package)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 T butter
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  2. Add cream cheese to a saucepan over low heat. When it begins to melt, add butter. Melt over low heat and whisk to combine. It will not combine until completely melted, you may need to use a spatula to help incorporate it.
  3. Add the warmed milk, slowly and the remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine. Cook over medium low heat for about 7 minutes. It should be slightly thinner than you want it, as it will thicken upon cooling.
  4. Meanwhile, add asparagus and a small amount of water to a large frypan and cook over medium low heat until tender. Drain the water from the pan.
  5. Add sauce and pasta to pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with dried thyme, if desired. Serve warm.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/10/02/creamy-asparagus-pasta/

Parmesan Asparagus Frittata

Parmesan Asparagus FrittataSpring is my favorite time of year!  There are so many things that I love about this season.  Sundresses, birds chirping, bright green grass, and of course asparagus.  Asparagus that can be made into a tasty asparagus frittata!  So delicious!  Did you know that May is National Asparagus Month?  Go grab a bunch and get cooking!Parmesan Asparagus FrittataParmesan Asparagus Frittata

I actually hated asparagus as a kid.  That’s probably because It is abundant at my parents’ house and we ate it all the time growing up.  Like every night.  Dinner was usually something on the grill, asparagus and spinach salad.  I also detested spinach salad for many years.  It really wasn’t until about five or six years ago that I started to love vegetables as much as I do.  I would turn my nose up at tomatoes or raw mushrooms and now I basically eat them by the pint!  That has been a really beneficial part of growing up, especially as a vegetarian, because it was difficult to eat the right way when I was so picky!  I’m glad that stage is behind me, but I still gag if I get a mouthful of mustard and can not stomach a green olive.  Ick.Parmesan Asparagus Frittata

This asparagus fritatta is a wonderful breakfast or brunch meal, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t make it for dinner too!  Light and fluffy eggs, a touch of salty parmesan and wonderfully tender asparagus.  I used a feta asparagus frittata recipe from Taste of Home as a starting point.  I used parmesan instead of feta and decreased the eggs so it would more easily feed two.  I served it with a fruit salad and we still had some leftovers!  If you add some chopped ham, or serve with a breakfast meat,  I really think you could make this serve up to four!Parmesan Asparagus Frittata

Asparagus Frittata

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 11-12 asparagus spears
  • 2 Tbsp onion, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 T grated parmesan
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut the woody ends from asparagus spears and discard.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper, grated parmesan, and all but a handful of shredded parmesan and set aside.
  3. Add asparagus and a small amount of water to a large skillet a cook over over medium heat until crisp-tender.
  4. Drain water from pan and remove stalks. Cut each spear to half the length of the pan you intend to bake the fritatta in. Leave the end with the tip whole, but finely dice the ends.
  5. Add diced asparagus, onions, and oil to skillet. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, until onions are fragrant.
  6. Add egg mixture and and cook 3-5 minutes, until nearly set. Arrange remaining stalks on top of eggs and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until completely set.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/05/16/asparagus-frittata/