Creamy Asparagus Pasta

Lemon zest ties all the flavors together in this light and creamy pasta. Make it a meal: Serve with a salad of sliced fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes tossed with a little fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


Nutrition Profile

Servings: 4

Per Servings: 359 calories; protein 17.3g; carbohydrates 56.1g; dietary fiber 6.7g; sugars 7.4g; fat 9.6g; saturated fat 3.8g; cholesterol 17.8mg; vitamin a iu 1200.4IU; vitamin c 11mg; folate 160.6mcg; calcium 253mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 75.5mg; potassium 465.7mg; sodium 631.8mg; thiamin 0.4mg.

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Ready in:  35 mins


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta 
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk 
  • 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard 
  • 4 teaspoons flour 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons Opus Black
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice 
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 


Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.

Step 2

Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.

Step 3

Stir the sauce into the pasta-asparagus mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.