Something about the warmer weather in LA recently made this lemon pasta a huge hit. I encourage you to buy a high quality, organic, gluten free spaghetti like Jovial’s organic brown rice spaghetti – they taste better and they’re much better for you than other heavily processed pastas! I love that this recipe also incorporates one of my all-time favorite vegetables: asparagus! Asparagus, like other green vegetables, is high in antioxidants. These include vitamin E, vitamin C and glutathione, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. I love how the lemon blends with the vegan parmesan, and of course, the basil on top is the perfect finishing touch!
1 lb. spaghetti
2/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed, and thinly sliced on a deep diagonal
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 3″ long strips of lemon zest
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 large basil leaves
2 lemons, halved
2 oz/ freshly grated vegan parmesan (plus more for serving)
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally until al dente.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the asparagus, season with salt, and cook, stirring often until just beginning to take on color (about 1 minute).
- Add garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Remove from the heat and let this mixture sit until the pasta is done.
- Add the pasta and basil to a pot with asparagus mixture and return to medium-high heat. Squeeze juice from both lemons into a pot and add 2 oz. of parmesan and 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Cook, tossing vigorously and adding more pasta water if needed, until sauce is creamy and emulsified and pasta is coated (this takes about 1 minute).
- Taste and season with more salt if needed. Remove and discard the garlic.
- Divide the pasta among serving bowls, placing a strip of lemon zest in each. Top with basil and parmesan!