Spring vegetable penne with lemon-cream sauce

The extra day off during the Memorial Day holiday meant a little more time to experiment in the kitchen. While relaxing for the weekend, I found the following recipe in the May 2013 volume of Cooking Light. We fired up the BBQ to grill chicken and vegetables to accompany this pasta dish. The recipe notes this dish serves four, but as a side, it could easily serve eight.

Penne Lemon-Cream Sauch Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 4-ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne
  • 1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

2. Add thyme and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle mushroom mixture evenly with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in broth and half-and-half; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add peas, 2 tablespoons cheese, rind, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); cook 1 minute or until peas are thoroughly heated.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 3 minutes of cooking the pasta, add asparagus to pot; drain.

5. Add pasta mixture to mushroom mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cheese.

Penne Lemon-Cream Sauce

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