2 cups white wine
1 lemon, zested (about 1 1/2 tsp.) and juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup heavy cream Salt
1 lb. spaghetti or linguine
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ lb. asparagus—trimmed of tough ends, then thinly sliced on an angle
¼ cup chopped preserved lemon peel (discard the flesh) and a splash of the brine
3 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce heat a bit and keep at a low rolling boil until the wine is reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Place the cream in a heatproof bowl and gradually whisk in the hot wine; return to the saucepan. Let the cream sauce simmer gently over low heat while cooking the pasta.
Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 to 2 minutes shy of al dente.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the asparagus. Cook, tossing often, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the preserved lemon peel and brine. Remove from heat.
Drain the pasta. Melt the butter in the pasta pot. Add the pasta, cream sauce, and cheeses and toss until coated; season with salt. Add the basil, asparagus, and preserved lemon. Serve in shallow bowls.