Pasta Al Limone with Peas + Asparagus
We teamed up with our friends over at FreshDirect to devise a way to use a lemon in three ways. Oh, and to make some Damn Good Pasta®. Watch how to make it here.
- 1 box Banza Spaghetti
- 1 lemon
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 6 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave three 2-inch strips of zest from the lemon. Very thinly slice each strip lengthwise into strands. Using a zester or microplane, finely zest the remainder of the lemon into a small bowl. Halve the lemon and squeeze all of its juice into a small bowl. Set everything aside.
- Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (1-2 minutes less than recommended cook time on package).
- While pasta cooks, heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Toss in asparagus and peas, season with more salt, and cook until asparagus turns bright green, 1-2 minutes. Add finely-zested lemon zest and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low.
- Using tongs, remove cooked spaghetti from water and add to pot with veggies. Scoop up 1½ cups pasta cooking water and add to other pot along with the butter. Toss until butter melts and a creamy, emulsified sauce forms. Add Parmesan a little at a time and toss until melted and sauce is clingy, about 3 minutes. If mixture looks dry, stir in another 1–2 tablespoons pasta cooking water.
- Stir in reserved lemon juice and basil leaves. Season with more salt if needed. Divide pasta between bowls. Season with pepper and top with lemon zest strands. (And more parm, if desired.)