I used a whole lemon (zest and juice), salty, tangy feta cheese, olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper to create a quick sauce. When tossed together with the warm linguine and a little pasta water, the ingredients cling to every pasta strand, making it wonderfully creamy without the need for cream.
Asparagus is one of my favourite springtime ingredients to use. It can be prepared in so many ways: eat it raw, roast, blanch, steam, pan fry it, etc! It has a distinctive flavour that is hard to describe; a more bolder green bean? Let me know what you think in the comments!
LEMON FETA LINGUINE WITH GARLIC ASPARAGUS
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
4 oz. uncooked linguine pasta
For the sauce:
1 lemon, juice and zest* (see first Note below)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Cracked black pepper
For the asparagus:
6 oz. (12 spears) asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1½ inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Boil the linguine pasta in salted water according to package directions until one minute prior to al dente. Drain and reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.
For the sauce. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil together until well combined. Then add in the feta and black pepper, whisking well until the sauce combines to become creamy and mostly uniform in texture.** Set aside.
For the asparagus. Using a large skillet at medium-high heat, add the olive oil and garlic, swirling the pan for 5 seconds (slightly toasting the garlic). Add in the asparagus, salt, and pepper, stirring frequently until the asparagus is tender-crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place the asparagus in another bowl.
Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to low, then add the pasta and sauce. Using tongs, toss to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce, letting the feta cheese completely melt. Spoon in a tablespoon of pasta water at a time to get to your desired saucy consistency.
Add in the asparagus and give the pasta a final toss. Top with additional feta cheese if you would like. Taste for additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
*About 1 tbsp lemon zest and ¼ cup lemon juice. This will make it a really lemony pasta dish; reduce the amount of zest and juice if you prefer a more mild lemon flavour.
**It’s fine if there are still visible pieces of feta cheese; they will melt when mixed with the pasta.