This is a good one to make during asparagus season.
- 4 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta, (about 1½ cups)
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 6 minutes. Add asparagus and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
3. Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta. Stir ¼ cup Parmesan into the pasta until combined. Serve the pasta topped with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.