Asparagus, Shrimp and Lemon Pasta

Due to technical difficulties beyond my control I have not blogged any recipes for quite awhile. Hopefully I’m back in working order and can carry on. My absence certainly isn’t due to my not cooking or baking. Every so often our local newspaper publishes recipes, and my husband found one that he thought looked good. Hint, hint. We love asparagus and who doesn’t love pasta?? It is asparagus season in Michigan and the recipe was provided by the Michigan Asparagus Council. (I had no idea there was an Asparagus Council, but now I know). I made some modifications to the original published recipe, the most significant being the addition of grilled shrimp. Not only did this dish present beautifully, it tasted great. I will definitely make it again.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound uncooked shrimp

1 T olive oil

8 oz fettuccine or linguine

1 pound of asparagus

4 T butter

4-5 garlic cloves minced

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup pasta liquid

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

zest of one lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved

In a large heavy skillet heat the olive oil and 1 T of butter over medium high heat. Sear the shrimp until they turn pink, about 1 minute per side. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water that has been generously salted and cook your pasta according to package instructions. The original recipe called for fettuccine but I substituted linguine based on what was available in my pantry. While the pasta is cooking chop your asparagus into bite size pieces and mince the garlic.

Heat 2 T of butter in the skillet over medium heat and sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is tender.

Once the asparagus has cooked remove it from the pan. Set aside along with the grilled shrimp.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the heavy cream. Simmer gently until the cream thickens.

Once the cream has thickened add the pasta directly from the pot (do not drain) into the cream. Add additional pasta water until you have the desired sauce consistency.

Add the asparagus, shrimp, lemon juice and zest, and the shredded Parmesan cheese and toss. Allow all of the ingredients to simmer a couple of minutes in the sauce. This will help the pasta absorb some of the sauce and rewarm the shrimp and asparagus.

To add a little more color and because we love tomatoes, I sliced about a cup of cherry tomatoes and added them to the skillet just before serving.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with a little more grated Parmesan cheese, and serve. Enjoy! We have leftovers for another dinner.

NOTE: I cooked the shrimp with tails on but before adding the shrimp back into the pasta I removed them. Much more enjoyable when you don’t have to remove them while you’re eating.

Add a little extra pasta water to your leftovers before refrigerating (if you have leftovers). This helps when you’re reheating the dish.

I would say that this recipe will give you healthy portions for four people.

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