Creamy Asparagus Pasta

April 11, 2024

This creamy asparagus pasta is my favorite asparagus dish! The hearty pasta and fresh asparagus are coated in a light, lemony, and creamy sauce. I’m sure it will become a favorite at your dinner table too!

Creamy asapargus pasta on a plate

You can whip this asparagus spaghetti recipe up for a quick weeknight dinner, serve it for a fancy date-night or at a family gathering – it never fails to impress.  It’s ready in only 25 minutes!

Ingredients Asparagus Pasta

You’ll only need 8 ingredients – including salt and pepper. I keep the sauce simple, without adding too many dominant ingredients like onion or garlic. I want to let the asparagus shine in this dish!

What you need:

Spaghetti are my first choice but feel free to use any pasta you like! Penne, Rigatoni, Farfalle, Fusilli, or Tagliatelle are all good choices.

Green asparagus is a must in this dish. No substituting white asparagus or anything else! I cut it in about 1/3-inch slices. This way it will only take a few minutes to sauté for a great crisp-tender texture. I keep the asparagus tips whole.

Creme fraiche makes the sauce super creamy. It is a thick cultured cream, which tastes similar to heavy cream and sour cream. Creme fraiche has a fat content of around 30-35 %, so it’s way skinnier than cream cheese. If you can’t find it, use mascarpone cheese or cream cheese as a substitute. I love to thin the sauce with pasta cooking water, which is starchy and salty. This makes the sauce even creamier.

Lemon: I love to add lemon zest to the sauce to brighten up the flavors. Make sure to use an organic lemon. The lemon flavor complements the creamy pasta sauce and asparagus perfectly. In addition, I add a squeeze of lemon juice to the sautéed asparagus to balance the flavors.

Black pepper is mandatory in this dish. I love to grind it directly into the sauce from a pepper grinder and often use a coarse grind. The lemon and the pepper make the sauce special.  

Parmesan: Adds depth, umami, and a salty flavor to the sauce. I use a block and grate it myself. If you omit the parmesan, you’ll likely need more salt.

Butter is my first choice for sautéing the asparagus. You can use salted butter, or unsalted butter with a pinch of salt. In theory, you could use oil too – but just in theory.

roasted asparagus on creamy pasta

Recipe green asparagus pasta

asparagus spears on cutting board
Green asparagus spears.

Wash asparagus stalks.

Peeled asparagus speas
Trim the ends and peel bottom quarter.

Trim woody ends and peel the lower quarter of the thicker asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous skin.

Sliced asparagus
Cut diagonal, in about 1/3-inch slices.

Chop diagonal into about 1/3-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Leave the tips whole, about 2-3 inches long (5-7 cm).

sauteeing sliced asparagus in pan
Sautée asparagus in butter for a few minutes.

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the packaging instructions. In the meantime, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the chopped asparagus including tips, about 5 minutes. Add a bit of lemon zest and stir.

Melted creme fraiche in pot
Melt creme fraiche in the pasta pot.

Drain pasta and set some of the cooking water aside. Let pasta sit in the colander while making the sauce. Add creme fraiche, some lemon zest (keep some for topping the finished dish), and black pepper to the empty pasta pot. Heat until creme fraiche becomes liquid, while stirring.

creamy sauce in pot
Add pasta cooking water until creamy.

Add 1 tablespoon pasta cooking water at a time, while stirring to get a nice luscious and creamy sauce. If you add to much water at once, the sauce could break.

Now add grated parmesan and more pasta water if needed. The sauce should resemble heavy cream. Add salt to taste (often not necessary because parmesan and cooking water are salty).

Pot with sauce, pasta, and asparagus
Add spaghetti and asparagus to the pot.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus in the pan (about 2 teaspoons), then stir. Add the drained pasta and most of the asparagus pieces (not the tips) to the pot with the sauce.

Pasta and asparagus tossed in sauce
Toss spaghetti and asparagus in the sauce.

Toss pasta and asparagus in the sauce.

Asparagus pasta in bowls

Serve the pasta with the remaining asparagus, some lemon zest, parmesan, and black pepper. Enjoy!

More recipes with green asparagus:

Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments how it turned out and also leave me a star rating if you want :)

Green asparagus pasta on plate
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4.94 from 15 reviews

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Creamy Asparagus Pasta

This greenasparagus pasta recipe has a lusciously creamy, cheesy sauce witha hint of lemon for a bright and fresh taste. Make it in less than 25 minutesfor a weekday dinner or a fancy date-night!
Total Time25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (226 g) spaghetti (or any other pasta)
  • 1/2 pound (226 g) green asparagus (use a little more if you love asparagus)
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (or unsalted + pinch salt)
  • 4 oz (113 g) creme fraiche (use mascarpone cheese or cream cheese if you can’t find it)
  • 1 organic lemon (zest of 1 lemon plus 2 teaspoons juice)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • To finish: black pepper, grated lemon zest, and parmesan

Instructions

  • Wash asparagus spears. Trim woody ends and peel the lower quarter of the thicker asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous skin. Chop diagonal into about 1/3-inch (1 cm) thick slices. Leave the tips whole, about 2-3 inches long (5-7 cm).
  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to the packaging instructions.
  • In the meantime, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the chopped asparagus including tips, about 5 minutes. Add a bit of lemon zest and stir.
  • Drain pasta and set some of the cooking water aside. Let pasta sit in the colander while making the sauce.
  • Add creme fraiche, some lemon zest (keep some for topping the finished dish), and black pepper to the empty pasta pot. Heat until creme fraiche becomes liquid, while stirring.
  • Add 1 tablespoon pasta cooking water at a time, while stirring to get a nice luscious and creamy sauce. If you add to much water at once, the sauce could break. Now add grated parmesan and more pasta water if needed. The sauce should resemble heavy cream. Add salt to taste (often not necessary because parmesan and cooking water are salty).
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus in the pan (about 2 teaspoons), then stir. Add the drained pasta and most of the asparagus pieces (not the tips) to the pot with the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Serve the pasta with the remaining asparagus, some lemon zest, parmesan, and black pepper. Enjoy!
Creamy Asparagus Pasta was last modified: April 11th, 2024 by Ursula

4 thoughts on “Creamy Asparagus Pasta

  1. Gabi

    5 stars
    I tried the recipe yesterday and everybody loved it. My daughter said it was one of the best meals she ever had. Thank you for the simple but great recipe, Ursula.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Gabi,
      This is so great to hear. So happy that you and everybody else, especially your daughter, love the asparagus pasta. Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try!
      Ursula

      Reply

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