Very gently cooking the eggs and cheese together, in a bowl set over the pasta pan, results in a deliciously silky sauce, which goes brilliantly with delicate egg pasta and asparagus.–Rebecca Seal and Chantal Symons
Creamy Asparagus Pasta FAQs
For simplicity’s sake, think of crème fraîche as European sour cream. It’s a staple there, and while it may be less common here in the States, we really love it. Why? Well, it has a higher fat content than sour cream, making it less prone to curdling when heated. It’s also thicker, richer, and less tangy than the sour cream you know – but it still tastes divine dolloped onto a baked potato or plopped atop a taco. Use crème fraîche nearly anywhere you’d normally use full fat sour cream.
There’s a very good reason. Salting your pasta water seasons each noodle evenly. How much salt should you use? About a heaping tablespoon per gallon (or per pound of pasta). Your water should taste slightly briny. If you’re concerned about your salt intake, don’t worry. Your pasta won’t absorb all of the salt. Use table, sea, or kosher salt – but steer clear of iodized, as it can pass on an “off” taste to your cooked pasta.
Creamy Asparagus Pasta
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 3/4 ounces hard cheese, such as Parmesan, pecorino Romano, or Gran Padano, grated, plus extra to serve
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 4 1/2 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch (3 to 4 cm) pieces on an angle
- 9 ounces store-bought or homemade fresh egg tagliatelle or fettuccine
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and maintain a gentle simmer, but don’t add the pasta yet.
- In a heatproof bowl that will fit on top of the pot, whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, until fairly smooth.
- Place the bowl over the simmering water and cook, stirring, until the sauce has melted together, is completely smooth and hot through, 3 to 5 minutes. (Don’t allow it to overheat, as the egg will start to scramble and become lumpy.)
- Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside, tasting to check if the sauce needs any salt.
- Add the asparagus and pasta to the simmering water and increase the heat if necessary. Boil until the pasta is tender and the asparagus is bright green, about 3 minutes, then drain in a colander immediately.
- Toss together the sauce, pasta and asparagus. Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese and a dusting of freshly ground black pepper.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
It has been a long winter and this creamy asparagus pasta recipe sounded like the beginning of spring. The ingredients were few and the method simple. Although, since I have never boiled fresh asparagus, being directed to cook the asparagus in the water with the pasta did concern me. But, it turned out fine and proved again there’s always something to learn as you cook.
I rarely use egg pasta, but it’s a nice choice for this dish, it was the perfect pasta for this light springtime entrée. The sauce was nice, light and flavorful and did not overwhelm the flavor or the egg pasta or fresh asparagus. The only thing that could improve this dish was maybe a little more sauce (or little less pasta?) or try adding a little pasta water after tossing it all together to keep it all a little looser. This dish was definitely quick, easy, delicious and a keeper!
I only had 40 minutes between my last afternoon meeting and a long evening meeting and needed something to sustain me. Having completed the prep earlier, this creamy asparagus pasta recipe allowed me to get food on the table in just over 10 minutes! It was tasty and filling and a good one to have in my back pocket. The garlic really came through, so if you like garlic, this one’s for you.
This creamy asparagus pasta checked all the boxes I find myself looking for so often these days – vegetarian, quick, based on ingredients I usually have on hand, a one bowl meal, and most importantly, delicious!
This recipe provides an infinitely adaptable dinner foundation that I’ll keep riffing on in all kinds of ways on busy weeknights in the future. Even though it comes together so easily, the sauce has the most luscious, creamy texture. A healthy dose of black pepper added a nice extra kick.
Next time I make this (which will be very soon), I’ll roast the garlic cloves in a pan for a few minutes just to soften and sweeten their flavor a little bit. If you don’t happen to have fresh pasta or the option of making it, you could always just throw the asparagus or other veggies into the pot of boiling water a few minutes before the noodles are done, and if you don’t have crème fraîche, sour cream works great as well. All in all, this recipe is going straight to our regular rotation!
I always love new ideas for the short asparagus season, especially ones that pair the vegetable with creamy or tangy sauces. I loved the taste of this sauce on its own but wanted more of it for the amount of pasta called for. I’ll definitely make this again, but in the future, I’ll up the amount of garlic (I doubled it this time, but would’ve preferred to quadruple it), salt, and would decrease the amount of pasta. Great recipe, nice mix of flavors and smells – I just wanted more of it!