Creamy Herbed Pasta with Asparagus
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trim and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
4 teaspoons flour
Sea salt Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated fine, divided
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cool for 3 minutes less than package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking 3-4 more minutes. Drain pasta and asparagus mixture and return to pot.
Whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red bell pepper, cook while stirring, until golden brown. Whisk in milk mixture, Bring to a simmer and continue stirring until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Pour the sauce mixture over the asparagus pasta mixture and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes until pasta is covered and sauce is thick. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Top servings with remaining Parmesan cheese.