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Fusilli with Asparagus, Lemon and Mascarpone

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Creamy but not rich, this seasonal, fresh, summery pasta is quick to make and packs a wonderful flavour and texture punch. Al dente pasta, caramelised, just cooked asparagus, creamy mascarpone, fruity and nutty parmesan, all brought to life with a splash of zingy lemon.

This week’s ‘quick meal for one’ will be on your plate and ready to eat in around 15 minutes – you will even have time to whip up a quick side salad! I started adding these quick meals to the blog as a reference for Charlotte and Emma but, to be honest, I’m really enjoying making all these dishes for one and sitting down to a delicious lunch in the middle of the day!

They really don’t take much longer, or create any more washing up, than scrambled eggs on toast and they are an excellent way of using up bits and pieces lurking in the back on of the fridge. There is little more satisfying than creating a meal out of 2 stalks (albeit lovely large stalks) of asparagus and a few store cupboard ingredients. If you don’t have any asparagus, this would also be delicious with other green vegetables such as peas, green beans, broccoli, mange tout or even a little salmon, smoked or otherwise. Just use your imagination!

How to make Fusilli with Asparagus, Lemon and Mascarpone

You can use any pasta you like for this dish. It works really well with fusilli though; the spiral shape is perfect for capturing the creamy, delicious sauce.

Collect all your ingredients together:

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 40g – 75g asparagus
  • 4g crushed garlic
  • Grated zest of ¼ lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 85g pasta – I like using fusilli
  • 280ml/1 cup and 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • 30g grated parmesan
  • extra black pepper

How to make this wonderful, quick pasta:

  1. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus. The easiest way to do this is, is to hold the woody end with your thumb and forefinger and hold the other end, below the tip. Bend the asparagus until it snaps; fortuitously it will snap off at the exact place between woody end and the beautiful tender stem. Trim off any rough edges.
  2. If the asparagus stems are thick, slice in half horizontally. Heat the oil over a high heat and cook the asparagus quickly on both sides until lightly caramelised. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the crushed garlic and lemon zest to the pan. Cook for around 1 minutes until aromatic.
  4. Add the pasta, boiling water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, without a lid, until the water has almost disappeared (just a couple of tablespoons left) and the pasta is cooked to al dente, around 10 – 12 minutes. Stir the pasta, from time to time, as it cooks. This helps to create a thicker sauce which will cling to the sides of the pasta. Please note:
    • If the pasta is cooked, and there is too much liquid left, boil briskly to reduce quickly.
    • If the water has disappeared and the pasta is not yet cooked, add a little more boiling water and cook until the pasta is ready.
  5. As the pasta cooks, slice the asparagus into chunks.
  6. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, ½ the parmesan and a grinding of freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Stir well to mix and reheat.
  8. Serve immediately with the remaining grated parmesan cheese on the side.

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If you make this recipe, do please tag me on instagram @daffodil_kitchen. You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.

Mimi photobombing …. again!

Fusilli with Asparagus, Lemon and Mascarpone

Al dente pasta, caramelised, just cooked asparagus, creamy mascarpone, fruity and nutty parmesan, all brought to life with a splash of zingy lemon.

Course Light meal, light supper, Lunch, Supper
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Asparagus, lemon, mascarpone, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Author Susan

Ingredients

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 40g – 75g asparagus
  • 4g/1 clove crushed garlic
  • Grated zest of ¼ lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 85g pasta – I like using fusilli
  • 280ml/1 cup and 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • 30g grated parmesan
  • extra black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus. (See Recipe Notes.)

  2. If the asparagus stems are thick, slice in half horizontally. Heat the oil over a high heat and cook the asparagus quickly on both sides until lightly caramelised. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the crushed garlic and lemon zest to the pan. Cook for around 1 minutes until aromatic.

  4. Add the pasta, boiling water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, without a lid, until the water has almost disappeared (just a couple of tablespoons left) and the pasta is cooked to al dente, around 10 – 12 minutes. Stir the pasta, from time to time, as it cooks. This helps to create a thicker sauce which will cling to the sides of the pasta. Please note:

    – If the pasta is cooked, and there is too much liquid left, boil briskly to reduce quickly.

    – If the water has disappeared and the pasta is not yet cooked, add a little more boiling water and cook until the pasta is ready.

  5. As the pasta cooks, slice the asparagus into chunks.

  6. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, ½ the parmesan and a grinding of freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Stir well to mix and reheat.

  8. Serve immediately with the remaining grated parmesan cheese on the side. Delicious with a side salad and/or some garlic bread.

Recipe Notes

Equipment:

  • kitchen scales and measuring spoons
  • chopping board and knife
  • wide pan
  • garlic crusher
  • grater

Remove the woody ends from the asparagus.

The easiest way to do this is to hold the woody end with your thumb and forefinger and hold the other end, below the tip. Bend the asparagus until it snaps; fortuitously it will snap off at the exact place between woody end and the beautiful tender stem. Trim any rough edges.

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