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Drunken Lemon Cream Pasta with Asparagus

Drunken Lemon Cream Pasta with Asparagus


  • 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


Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Step 2

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. 

Step 3

Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 to 2 minutes shy of al dente.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.