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30 Days of Cooking Light– Day 2. Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce, Asparagus, and Peas

July 19, 2011

You can find the recipe here.


I bought a great selection of organic pastas at Costco a few weeks ago…so I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate them into my Cooking Light recipe challenge. Pasta is so easy and kid friendly! We usually have it at least once a week. I am making tonight’s recipe with Gemelli, which are little spiral shapes that hold sauce perfectly.

I chose this recipe because it looks baby/toddler friendly with creamy sauce and peas. There is also the added bonus that it calls for heavy cream. How decadent in a cooking light recipe! I chose to double the amounts to provide 8 servings–that way J and I would have leftovers for lunch. It actually worked out perfectly for 1 whole bag of the pasta, 1 full bag of frozen peas, and 1 whole bunch of asparagus from the store. No random odds and ends floating around 🙂

I decided to make this all in one pot by using a large non-stick stock pot. That cut down somewhat on the clean up.

Step one: boil water, add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes. Add chopped asparagus for the last minute of cooking time. (Since I am cooking for a 1 year old and four year old–I modified this by cooking for 10 minutes before adding the asparagus and then cooked for two minutes so that it would be very tender.)

Step two: Drain pasta over thawed peas. (To thaw peas, I put them in the freezer steamer bag in the microwave for four minutes.) Set aside.

Step three:  Heat butter in pot, add garlic and saute 1 minute. (Here, things seemed to go very quickly and it helps to have a great sous chef *Jeremy* or to have all of your remaining ingredients ready to go.)

Step four: Add stock with cornstarch mixed in and stir, bringing to a boil. Cook 1 minute until thickened and remove from heat.

Step five: Stir in remaining ingredients and add pasta mixture, tossing gently to coat. Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper and lemon slices if desired.

Note: I added about 1 tsp of grated lemon zest to the recipe for extra lemon flavor.


Verdict: Leighton enjoyed hers–she struggled a bit with the pasta until I mashed the gemelli with a fork. I spooned a bit of extra sauce on hers to moisten it. She is always excited about peas and the asparagus blended in with no problem.

Morgan found the lemon sauce too “sour” and did not seem to enjoy his. He picked some of the peas out and requested a leftover corn muffin from the night before. In the future, I will reserve a scoop of pasta mixture and serve his with butter and parmesan.

 Jeremy and I loved this dish. The light lemon flavor gave it some zip and the coarse ground black pepper finished it off nicely. We both commented that pancetta would be great in this…if it hadn’t been Meatless Monday 🙂


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Hodges permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:49 pm

    Yummy again! Can’t wait to fix this after a week of vacation Mexican food! Thanks for highlighting and sharing this recipe Jennifer!

  2. July 19, 2011 2:21 pm

    that looks SO good. I’m totally making that soon!

  3. Liz permalink
    July 19, 2011 5:37 pm

    Mmmm, this looks alfredo-ish, but lighter with more flavor!

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