Pasta with Asparagus & Feta Avgolemono

It’s a beautiful day on the Chesapeake, with the sun filling the cockpit and hinting of spring to come. I’m jumping the season a bit but will take full advantage of any nice day in January. So my thoughts turned to asparagus. And I had all the makings for a wonderful avgolemono…silky Greek lemon and egg sauce…already in my icebox. Plus I had just bought a new serving bowl from Annapolis Pottery that I wanted to show off!

Pasta with Asparagus & Feta Avgolemono

4 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 lemons, juiced with zest of one lemon (Meyer lemons if you can get ahold of them!)
1/2 cup white wine
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 lb. Penne pasta
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed

In a medium sauce pan, sauté the minced shallots until soft. Add the broth and simmer over medium heat until it just starts to boil. I almost always make my broth by using Better Than Bouillon. One large spoonful should be adequate for 2 cups of water. But it is very salty so start out small and taste to adjust. Remove from heat.

Whisk the egg in a medium bowl until foamy, then add the lemon juice, white wine and cornstarch, whisking until incorporated. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the hot broth to the egg mixture, constantly whisking to incorporate.

Pour the tempered mixture into the saucepan with the remaining broth (over low heat); cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, to form a lightly thickened sauce. Remove from the heat.

Next cook the asparagus and the pasta. You can oven roast the asparagus, sauté, steam or blanch. When making asparagus and pasta I prefer to double up the use of a boiling pot of water. I blanch the asparagus for a few minutes in a large pot of boiling water. Then lift the asparagus out with tongs and throw the pasta in to cook. That way I’m preserving precious water from the tanks.

Place the blanched asparagus on a cutting board to cool.

Once pasta has cooked to al dente, drain and add the chopped asparagus.

If you bought your Feta cheese in a block, which I prefer to, chop and crumble. Add to the pasta pot, along with the minced tarragon.

Worthy of your prettiest pasta bowl.

If you reheat the left overs the feta cheese melts a bit more, thickens the sauce, and I think makes the dish all the better.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.