Pappardelle with Asparagus and Lemon


1 bunch pencil-thin asparagus
1/2 pound pappardelle pasta (or fettucine)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley


Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut each stalk into 3 to 4 pieces, slicing on the diagonal. Cook the asparagus in a pot of lightly salted, boiling water for 2 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Immediately place in ice water or cold running water and drain. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. (Note: al dente is the stage when the noodle is just firm enough to be springy, not so firm that its core is hard, and yet not mushy to the tooth.) While the pasta is cooking, combine lemon juice and white wine in a small non-stick sauti pan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons. Add salt and cream and reduce to about 2/3 cup. Remove from heat and stir in one tablespoon of the lemon zest. Cover to keep warm while the pasta is cooking. When pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the cooking pot. Add asparagus pieces, lemon cream sauce and minced parsley. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to a warm serving platter or plates. Garnish with remaining tablespoon of lemon zest and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

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