Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon Butter Sauce

Did you think I quit? I didn't. I have just been in a bit of a rut.  A rut of every kind, actually.  A cooking rut (lack of time and motivation), an exercise rut (something very bad is happening to my feet), and a work rut (the deal I am working on is quickly going south and my commute is killing me). Luckily I've had several fun social events that are getting me through, but unfortunately they are wedged tightly in between an intense travel schedule  so I show up to most things looking like I'm recovering from mono and in desperate need of a facial. Anyway. 

I have two good posts for this week though.  This one, which is a great weeknight meal that I think you should make tomorrow, and a balsamic risotto that I will post later this week that you should make for your dinner party this weekend. If you're having one.

This was an awesome side dish to our perfectly blackened salmon last week - very quick and a good way to get some veggies.  The pasta was just very lightly sauced, though you could certainly double the sauce recipe to make it a bit heartier if you wanted.  You could also serve it as a the main dish and add in some grilled chicken or shrimp. Oy! I will do that next time.

Start by steaming the asparagus in the microwave for about 2.5 minutes (covered microwave safe dish with a pinch of water).  Drain water, then add cold water and ice cubes (to retain the bright green color). Set aside.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until el dente. Drain.  In a sauce pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil, then lemon juice, and slowly whisk in the half and half. Bring to a low boil to thicken for a minute or two.  Mix in the pasta, then stir in the grated parmesan.  Add the asparagus, and serve with fresh Parmesan. Lots of it.

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