Spaghetti with Asparagus and Cannellini Beans

This is an easy pasta recipe that comes together within the time it takes to cook the pasta. It's a go-to for me on a busy night, and I often substitute other seasonal vegetables for the asparagus; broccoli is a great example. It's a light pasta dish that has something other than a red sauce. Adding the pasta water is a secret to really great Italian pasta dishes...think of it as pasta broth. I love the cannellini beans in here because they have protein in them and they have a great creamy texture. This pasta is both light and comforting at the same time. If you like a fiery pasta dish, add some dried red chili flakes along with the garlic and lemon zest.

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Cannellini Beans
Printable Recipe

1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta according to package directions. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus. Before draining the pasta, reserve the pasta cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, add the oil, garlic, and the zest of the lemon to a cold pan. Heat the pan over medium heat, cooking the garlic and zest until they become fragrant. Add the juice of the lemon and the beans and heat the beans through; season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the pasta and asparagus into the skillet the the bean mixture along with the Parmesan and the basil. Add enough pasta water to allow the pasta to be coated with cheese. Serve immediately, topped with more cheese.

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