Creamy preserved lemon pasta with asparagus and crispy prosciutto. A delicious, easy to make weeknight pasta dish.
One of the best parts about springtime is the fresh vegetables that have been growing all winter ready to be harvested and eaten, such as asparagus. The early season of asparagus always gets me excited for longer days and warmer temps ahead. Plus they are a versatile vegetable for salads, roasted, grilled and sautéed in pasta dishes like my creamy preserved lemon pasta with asparagus and crispy prosciutto.
I tried to bribe my kiddo with asparagus for helping me with this photo. She said she prefers cupcakes as payment, not asparagus. I don’t blame her. In a battle of cupcakes Vs. asparagus I might choose the cupcake too.
But fresh spring asparagus is so good when added to salads, roasted or lightly cooked and added to pasta dishes. I promised cupcakes if she ate all her asparagus!
I baked the prosciutto in the oven to get it nice and crispy. Since it is so fragile I prefer to cook it this way. Line a baking sheet with parchment so its easy to remove once baked. My dogs were going nuts when this was baking. They are convinced one of these days whatever I am baking in the oven I will removed and placed straight into their mouths. Silly dogs.
This pasta is super easy to cook up, similar to linguine but a bit thicker, and the sauce is similar to an alfredo but much much lighter. Preserved lemon is a unique but wonderful ingredient. It is salty and with the salty prosciutto and parmesan adding salt to the sauce really isn’t necessary. Too much salt would really overpower the sauce.
- 1 package of Tagliatelle pasta
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 lb asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut into 2 inch length pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c preserved lemons ( 2 lemon wedges from jar), minced
- 2 tsp preserved lemon juice
- 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp c dry white wine
- 2/3 C heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 9 oz Prosciutto
- Sun-dried Tomato dipping oil
- Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 Deg F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the prosciutto in half width wise then carefully peel away and place each thin piece on the baking sheets, half an inch to an inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes rotating the baking sheets on the oven racks every 5 min for even baking. Or bake one sheet at a time for 15 min each. Once done baking, carefully transfer the prosciutto to paper towels to cool. They will crisp up more once cooled
Cook pasta according to package directions. Save 1/2 c pasta water and drain pasta well.
In a large saute pan heat one tablespoon of butter and one table spoon of oil. Once foamy add the asparagus and salute 3-4 minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and heat remaining butter and olive oil.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add in the minced preserved lemon, lemon juice, reserved pasta water and white wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce slightly. Slowly add in the cream while whisking continuously. Keep whisking until boiling then reduce heat until slightly thickened. Taste sauce and add a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper to taste.
Add in the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until pasta is covered with sauce. Add in the asparagus and toss again.
Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm until ready to serve. Serve with some crumbled crispy prosciutto, some freshly shaved parmesan and a drizzle of sun-dried tomato dipping oil.
If you can't find sun dried tomato dipping oil, you can use any high quality olive oil with diced sundried tomatoes added in and seasoned with salt and pepper
I love springtime pasta dishes like these and making the prosciutto crispy is worth the extra step, you can sub bacon if you want but it won’t be quite the same flavor.