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Penne Pasta with Asparagus and Pine Nuts~ Italy Part 5: Venice

A delicious pasta with blanched asparagus and pine nuts served with a traditional cream sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy dinner recipe, easy pasta recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Linda Spiker


  • 16 oz. penne pasta cooked to package instructions
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 bundles asparagus cut into 3” pieces
  • ½ cup roasted pine nuts
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 cup or more, or less freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Chopped Italian parsley for garnish


  1. Set a large pot of water on stove to boil. While waiting for water to boil, slice onions, cut asparagus, mince garlic, roast pine nuts and grate cheese.
  2. When water is boiling add the pasta to the water and set timer for three minutes short of cooking time. (ex: if pasta says cook for 10 minutes, set timer for 7 minutes)
  3. Add butter to a small pot and melt on med/high heat. When melted add flour and whisk to form a roux. The roux will form a paste and thicken your cream sauce. Add cream to pot very slowly, whisking continuously. Allow cream to thicken slightly. Add green onions and garlic to cream, stir. Reduce heat to low so cream does not continue to thicken.
  4. When pasta timer goes off add asparagus to pasta water and set timer for 3 more minutes. When timer goes off, pour pasta and asparagus into a colander, drain (no rinsing) and then pour into a large bowl. Pour crème mixture over pasta. Add Parmesan cheese while slowly mixing. Add sea salt to taste, garnish with pine nuts and parsley.