Lemon Fettuccine with Asparagus Ribbons

Lemon Fettuccine with Asparagus Ribbons

I will never forget the first time I tried vegetable noodles in place of pasta, YUK! I was so not a fan! I was at my friend’s house, and her mom dumped jar pasta sauce on top of spaghetti squash with some soy cheese. It was the worst thing I had ever eaten. Well, that was over 25 years ago, and a lot has changed in the food world … and in my cooking skills, as well. I do like spaghetti squash now but with herbed cream sauces or Thai coconut curry. I also discovered that many veggies can step in for pastas, but some of my all time favorites still have a little pasta in the mix. This lemon fettuccine is a prime example of veggie zoodles meet pasta. You can make this with the asparagus as the star, or 50/50, or traditional heavy pasta with a serving of asparagus. All are amazing, creamy, yummy and really hit that bright, fresh comfort food spot you’re craving. Here is the twist: instead of a heavy béchamel sauce, I add a quick homemade mascarpone cheese. You can buy this at the store, if you don’t want the extra step, but it is pricey, like Crème fraîche … another high-end ingredient you can make at home (on the cheap!).

You will need… 

1 large stalk bundle of asparagus (you can not make ribbons with thin stalks)

1 package of Fettucini Noodles

olive oil

red onion (shallots work well with this also)

4-5 large cloves of garlic

1 lemon

1 cup of freshly graded Parmesan

Fresh ground black pepper

For the quick mascarpone cheese base:

4 ounces cream cheese

2 ounces heavy whipping cream

1 table spoon sour cream

TIP:

I don’t really weigh or measure things like this, I eyeball and look for the consistency I want and like. But 4,2,1 is a great guide. My real mascarpone recipe is in the link, if you are making dessert like tiramisu.

Let’s cook…

First shave asparagus stalks into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler.

To do this: snap off the woody stalk part, lay asparagus flat on a cutting surface, with a sharp peeler start at the widest end and when you have about an inch in the cut now hold the cut end and keep peeling the ribbon to the tip of asparagus. TA-DA!!
Next boil pasta in salted water and start to make your cream base (unless you bought mascarpone) To do this: mix with a hand mixer 4 parts cream cheese, 2 parts heavy cream and 1 part sour cream. This is not my mascarpone recipe but it is what I love for this pasta because it flows better.

Good to know…

You really want that pasta al dente because it needs to soak up some sauce and help cook the asparagus  ribbons plus you will want to reserve 2 cups of cooked pasta water.

Moving on…
Grab a deep sauté pan, sauté red onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, so keep the heat low. Season with some fresh ground pepper, add a little pasta water and a few tablespoons of your whipped mascarpone. Once you have that mixed and bubbling gently toss in your asparagus ribbons and add more pasta water. Zest your lemon and squeeze the juice right in the pan next drain pasta and toss in the sauce. Let the pasta rest while you grate some fresh Parmesan in your bowls. Serve the pasta up and top again with more freshly graded Parmesan, black pepper and lemon zest YUMMMY!

Don’t just stand there drooling, grab that asparagus and make those ribbons! It might not look it but this dish pictured above was 50/50. The noodles were not mushy and ribbons had a bit of crunch…just lovely.

oxox Ms Foodie

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