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Ham and Lemon Sauce Pasta Primavera

Lisa Lotts
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound asparagus trimmed cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms wiped clean sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 pound shell pasta cooked to al dente
  • 1 cup ham diced
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes diced drained if oil-packed, reconstituted and drained if dried,
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh italian parsley chopped optional

FOR CREAMY LEMON SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 lemon zested

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sauce pan, boil 2 cups of water. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp tender. While asparagus blanches, fill a medium-sized bowl with ice and water. With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer blanched asparagus to the ice bath and plunge it into the ice water to stop the cooking.
  • Fill a 3 quart saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Heat to boiling. Add shells and cook until al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned 3-5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl. Liquid will collect from the mushrooms as it sits, be sure to drain it off before adding mushrooms to the final dish.

FOR CREAMY LEMON SAUCE:

  • Add butter and onion to the pan and saute until the onion is softened.
  • Stir in flour until everything is well combined and no dry bits of flour remain. Cook and stir for one minute until bubbly.
  • Add chicken broth a little at a time to the flour mixutre, stirring and scraping the pan constantly. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and takes on the consistency of a sauce. Stir in half and half and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  • Drain the asparagus and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Add the pasta and parmesan cheese to the sauce mixture and toss well to combine. Stir in the asparagus, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, ham to the pasta and heat through over medium heat. Stir in the basil and parsley just before serving.
  • Use remaining parmesan as a garnish, served on the side.