The perfect spring time pasta dish

I made asparagus pasta last night that was delicious to both adults AND picky toddlers!  It took a grand total of 15 minutes to make which is my kind of meal for a weeknight.  My only complaint about it is that there is a disappointing lack of bacon...

I think I stole this recipe over a year ago from Cooking Light, but I've reworked it to make it less "canola oil" and more "real food yumminess".  My edits below reflect how I made it.

Asparagus pasta
-1 lb of whole wheat pasta (I used bow ties).  Use brown rice pasta if following a gluten-free diet.
-salt & pepper to taste
-a bunch of minced garlic
-the zest of 1 medium lemon.  (Psst, Kori, this is a great recipe to use your microplane).
-1 cup of chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you follow a vegetarian diet)
-4 tbslp of butter...or a little more.  Knock yourself out!
-1 lb of asparagus cut in to 1 inch sections
-4 tblsp of olive oil (divided)
-Parmesan cheese.  Use fresh grated.  That crap in the shelf stable green can would ruin this light spring time dish.

1) In a large pot, bring salted water with 2 tbsp of olive oil to a boil.  Add pasta.  Cook according to directions.
2) Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute the asparagus sections.  Someone once told me to cook fresh young green veggies until they're the "color of spring".  For asparagus, that is about 2-4 minutes.  Remove cooked asparagus and set aside.
3) In the asparagus pan, add chicken broth, lemon zest, butter, garlic, and pepper.  Cook until heated through - about 2 minutes.
4) Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add asparagus and sauce mixture to the pasta.  Top with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.  Serve to picky toddlers sans asparagus.

Great additions to this dish:
- this would have been great with grilled chicken.  I served it on meatless Mondays, but a little extra protein would have been nice.
-if you like red, green, or yellow peppers or even mushrooms (barf), it would go well with the flavors.
-artichoke hearts, a few diced tomatoes, a drizzle of pesto, some pine nuts, and some shredded crab in this would have made my tongue felt like it won the lottery.  Oh crap, now I'm hungry.

This has also been posted to Real Food Wednesdays

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