Get all the flavors of spring in a bowl with this Lemon Asparagus Pasta. Make it in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes, and the result will be a creamy bowl of pasta, filled with fresh greens! It contains peas, asparagus, and a splash of lemon juice, creating a symphony of tangy and savory flavors. Try this delicious, vegetarian, one-pot meal tonight!
(Optional) If the asparagus* you are using is thick, then saute it in 2 tablespoon olive oil in the instant pot or in a pan on stovetop for 5-8 minutes until it is tender. Take out and set aside.
Heat the instant pot in sauté mode and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Add onions and garlic, and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the dried basil, thyme, broth and deglaze the pot making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
Add the penne pasta and stir well. Make sure all the penne is covered in broth. Close lid with vent in sealing position.
Pressure Cook the pasta on high pressure for 5 minutes. The general rule of thumb is to pressure cook pasta for 1 minute less than half the time on the pasta box.
When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.
Add the asparagus* and green peas. Then stir in the cream and parmesan. Keep stirring until the cheese is incorporated well into the pasta.
Cover the instant pot with a lid and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
Add lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with parmesan and red chili flakes (if using) before serving.
Asparagus - The asparagus I used was thin and I did not need to be sautéed to cook well with the pasta. However if your asparagus is thicker, there are 2 options –
Start the instant pot in sauté mode and sauté the asparagus for 5-8 minutes in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, until it is a bit tender. Then take it out and set aside. This can also be done in a pan on stovetop too if you like. This is my preference as we like firmer asparagus.
Cook the asparagus along with the pasta. After adding all the pasta ingredients to the pot. Add the cut asparagus on top of the pasta. Do not stir. Then after the pasta is cooked, stir everything together.
Penne - I used penne, but other pasta such as farfelle, bowtie or spaghetti will work well too. You can also use whole wheat penne. Broth - I used vegetable broth. But other broths would work just as well.Parmesan - I have tried this recipe with parmesan and pecorino romano. Both work great. Use cheese from a block, and not the pre-shredded one. Cream - I used heavy whipping cream. Feel free to adjust the quantity to make this lighter.Lemon: I used just lemon juice in this recipe, however don't hesitate to up the lemon flavors by adding in some zest too!