Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with Asparagus and Peas


12 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta (choose whole wheat for more fiber)
1 3/4 cups (1/2 pound) fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon margarine
¾ cup onion, chopped
8 ounces cooked ham, chopped
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup pasta water (reserved after draining pasta)
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan, divided
Fresh dill, optional


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Add asparagus to the pot of water and cook 3 more minutes. Place peas in a colander. Drain pasta mixture over peas, reserving ½ cup pasta water; set aside.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté until softened about 2 minutes. Add ham; cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in skim milk, cream, and pepper and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and rind; stir well.

Add the pasta, peas, asparagus, and reserved cooking liquid to cream sauce and toss gently to coat. Add 1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Spoon 1 ½ cups of pasta mixture into each of 6 bowls, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese; serve immediately. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings 400 calories; 10.5 grams fat; 49 grams Carbohydrate; 3 grams fiber
(with whole wheat pasta 6 grams fiber)

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