Foods just sound so much more interesting in French or Italian. This dish sounds fancy, when all we are really saying is Asparagus with Lemon and Pasta. Okay, so we are mentioning the type of pasta, too.
Gemelli is Italian for Gemini or twins. Gemelli pasta is not two pieces of pasta twisted together but rather one singular strand twisted over onto itself. Look carefully and you will see that Gemini is the perfect word for these macaroni twists.
While this might sound fancy in Italian, it’s really a very simple dish bursting with flavors. This would make a lovely side to chicken or seafoods that are also kissed with lemony goodness. You could even enjoy this pasta as a meatless supper. It’s all up to you.
Lemony Asparagus Gemelli Pasta
Kosher Salt as needed
1 lb. Gemelli Pasta
1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed
Extra-virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 cup Pinot Grigio
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh Parsley, plus more for garnish
Bring an 8-quart stock pot of water to a boil and generously season with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return the cooked pasta to pot. Hold to keep warm
Trim the asparagus of any woody ends. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle olive oil over asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus 4 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer grilled asparagus to board and cut into 1-inch pieces.
While the asparagus is grilling, peel and mince the garlic, set aside. Peel and finely dice half of a red onions. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add garlic and onion sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add white wine, zest of 1 lemon, plus the juices, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn off heat and mix in pasta water, asparagus, 1 cup of Parmesan, 1/2 cup parsley and the pasta. Toss until well coated.
Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with additional cheese and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.