This creamy pasta with asparagus is divine! Only 30 minutes and one pot and you’ll have a heavenly dinner of creamy shells with asparagus.
I love a good one-pot meal and this is one I intend to come back to many times in the future!
For this creamy shells and asparagus, I used a few key ingredients:
- Mini shell pasta. You can use any small pasta shape such as rigatoni, penne, or ziti. You want a pasta shape that is small and will hold on to the sauce well.
- Asparagus. Any bright, crunchy, green vegetable will work, such as sugar snap peas, broccoli florets or chopped green beans. You can use these fresh or frozen, depending on what you have. If you don’t have a crunchy green, use leafy greens, such as spinach or arugula.
- Red Fresno Chili Peppers. I used these for heat, but if you can’t find them, simply use crushed red pepper instead.
- Cream, Flour, and Butter. This is a creamy sauce built on the foundation of a delicious roux. The flour will create a luxuriously thick sauce that sticks to every single piece of pasta, I promise!
- Lemon Juice and Parsley. I added this at the very end just to brighten up the creamy sauce a bit.
You will love this incredibly easy and versatile one-pot meal. This recipe for creamy pasta with asparagus comes together so quickly and tastes absolutely delicious.
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Creamy Shells with Asparagus
- Large pot
- 1 pound miniature shell pasta
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper or crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups vegetable stock more, if needed
- ½ cup heavy cream warmed in a microwave for 30-45 seconds
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into thirds
- ½ lemon juiced
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley leaves minced, plus more for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the shells until al dente. Set aside. Return the pot to the stove.
Prep the Ingredients:
- While the pasta is cooking, prep all the ingredients needed for the recipe.
Cook the Aromatics:
- Heat the neutral cooking oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red Fresno chili pepper and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Prepare the Roux:
- Melt the butter into the aromatics and sprinkle the flour on top and stir to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the flour becomes aromatic and golden.
- Slowly add the stock in 1/2 cup increments, whisking after each addition, until all the stock has been added. Bring to a very low boil and then reduce heat. Whisk in the warm heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the Asparagus:
- Add the asparagus to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it is bright green and tender-crisp. Add the lemon juice and parsley and toss to combine. Taste and season again to your preferences.
Finish the Pasta:
- Add the pasta to the pot and toss to combine until all the pasta is coated with the sauce. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes more to thicken the sauce further and to warm up the pasta. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the cooked shells between bowls and garnish with more parsley if desired. Enjoy!