I’m baaaaaack! And I’ve got the goodies. And by goodies I mean the awesome new recipe for lemon garlic cream fettuccine that I promised you a few days ago. To catch you up in case you’re rusty, last week I wrote about what it is like to be a college student, specifically in terms of our sad food situation. And we landed on the realization that there are essentially two food groups to any college student’s diet: instant ramen and pasta. Not enough variety, right? We also talked about how I am trying to make new and interesting food accessible and easy to make for college students, who don’t have time to spare, infinite kitchen space, or all the utensils in the world. Here, you’ll find that you only need a skillet, a cutting board for the ingredients, an oven safe tray, and something to boil your pasta in.
All caught up? Cool. With today’s theme, let’s talk about pasta. Perhaps one of the most versatile foods in the world, pasta lends itself well to super simple recipes (boil and toss with sauce) all the way to pretty intensive and complicated ones with homemade sauces with fancy names that you cannot pronounce and whatnot. But if you hear a college student talking about “making pasta,” you can be 110% sure they are doing the former. But just because you want to try something more fancy does not mean that you have to dedicate hours and tons of money on ingredients. In fact, this very recipe took me only about half an hour on a weekend and has ingredients that are so basic and few that you will probably find most of them in your house already.
But that gets boring. I mean, how many days in a row can you literally eat the exact same thing? (And no, different shaped pastas for each day of the week doesn’t count as variety, sorry.) But don’t even worry because there are so many ways you can make pasta, even as a college student, that are new and exciting and interesting.
For this recipe I threw in a fun twist: roasted asparagus! I really love adding asparagus to my recipes because they pack a good crunch and flavor to the overall meal. You’ll also find that my recipe calls for a ton of lemon juice. That’s personal preference because I love extra lemon juice, so feel free to cut back if you find my recommendation a bit much! I also put a lot of lemon juice because garlic tends to overpower everything around it, so I really wanted both flavors to come out equally. I chose to use low fat cream cheese because full fat tends to get the pasta sauce too thick, in my opinion, so low fat still makes it creamy without becoming too heavy.
Also, be sure to leave adequate time when you start making this, because it’s not like my minestrone soup. I would call it a half an hour recipe, but this is an active process, where you need to be attentive the whole time. So that’s just a heads up, because since this also deals with dairy, it’s a bit more finicky than something you can just throw together and wait for half an hour while it cooks itself.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
For the pasta
- 8 ounces fettuccine, uncooked
- Half a sweet onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces low fat cream cheese
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded Parmesan, to taste
For the roasted asparagus
- Handful of freshly washed asparagus, cut into small pieces. Use your hands to snap the asparagus. It will naturally break in the place the inedible area meets the tender area.
- Salt, to season
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay asparagus out in an oven safe tray and sprinkle with salt. I recommend not spraying with cooking oil, so it doesn’t end up soggy.
- Roast asparagus for 12 minutes and then lay out to cool.
- Boil a pot of salted water and cook 8 ounces of fettuccine according to instructions.
- In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter and sweat garlic until fragrant.
- Saute onions until translucent and add lemon zest and stir until lemon becomes fragrant.
- Stir in heavy cream slowly.
- Whisk in cream cheese and keep whisking until fully melted.
- Squeeze in the juice of an entire lemon and immediately take off the heat. You don’t want to boil lemon juice, or else it may get bitter.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in asparagus into sauce.
- Add in parsley for a delicious kick of herb flavor (I like to pretend
- Toss in fettuccine directly from the pasta water to the sauce, and mix well.
- Add in shredded Parmesan to your bowl of fettuccine and watch it get melty 😉
And that’s it! Simple, about 30 minute recipe. There’s no crazy ingredients that you have to run to some random hipster store in the next county to find. You probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge already. This recipe keeps pretty well in the fridge, so I use it as meal prep. It should be good for up to a week, but be careful because, again, dairy.
I think the greatest thing about this recipe is that you add each ingredient one by one, and cook it separately and each ingredient changes the aroma of the dish. I was literally smelling the concoction at each step, observing the change from garlic to lemon zest, all the way down to the addition of parsley. You should do the same 😉 It made me feel so fancy (lol).
I want to know what you guys think of this recipe! Do you love lemon as much as I do? And how did this turn out for all of you? Leave me questions and comments below!
See you soon,
Janani <3 <3