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Creamy Spring Pasta

Creamy Spring Pasta
Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 30 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

This dish is luxuriously creamy, but the pasta soaks up the sauce quickly. Be sure to serve right away. Use refrigerated pasta to cut several minutes off the cook time. Serve with Butter-Roasted Carrots.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 6 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • Butter-Roasted Carrots

Nutrition Information

  • calories 408
  • fat 13.8 g
  • satfat 6.7 g
  • monofat 4.5 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 17.6 g
  • carbohydrate 54 g
  • fiber 4.6 g
  • cholesterol 33 mg
  • iron 3.9 mg
  • sodium 625 mg
  • calcium 225 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.

    Trimming Asparagus
  2. Place torn bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs; sauté 3 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Remove breadcrumb mixture from pan; wipe pan clean with paper towels.

  3. Add asparagus and peas to boiling water; cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water; drain.

  4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.

  5. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and the remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually whisk in chicken broth. Add broth mixture and milk to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; add cheeses, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheeses melt. Add pasta, asparagus, and peas; toss well. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tarragon.