Food on Fridays: Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Mushrooms, Ham, and Asparagus

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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button (the big one above or smaller option at the bottom) to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of Simply Linked to join the fun!

Food on Fridays with Ann

Last Sunday for Father’s Day, my mom brought the main dish: cheese-stuffed shells with marinara sauce. We made extra spaghetti for any kids who weren’t interested in the stuffed shells. Also, the night before I’d made a batch of Pioneer Woman’s Pesto Cream Sauce.By Sunday night, the fridge was packed with so much leftover pasta that studying its shelves felt like browsing the menu of an Italian bistro.Yet, were three choices of pasta enough to satisfy me? No. I felt compelled to add to our carb collection, so I dug around in the fridge and realized I had most everything to make Judee’s Lemon/Garlic Pasta with Mushrooms and Asparagus, which she linked up to Food on Fridays last week.Here’s her version with my modifications in italics and [brackets] (her notes are in parentheses):

Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Mushrooms, Ham, and Asparagus


  • 1 lb gluten free pasta (penne or rotini work well!) [I used leftover regular spaghetti]
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter (or dairy free substitute) [I threw in a little butter without measuring]
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced thick [I used what I had on hand, which wasn’t much; maybe half an 8 oz box?]
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (or more if you love garlic)
  • 8 ounces of spreadable feta cheese log (omit for dairy free) [I used what I had and wished I had more because I love feta]
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream ( or coconut cream) [I used half-and-half, and way more than two tablespoons]
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) [I used this and loved it, so I don’t consider it optional]
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes [I didn’t have any tomatoes, doggone it]
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • [Ann’s note: I added tiny bits of ham, because I had too much spaghetti and it tasted a bit bland; the ham jazzed it up]


  • Cook the pasta, according to package directions, until al dente, drain and rinse. Save 1/4 cup of pasta water [I didn’t have any pasta water, since I was reheating already cooked pasta–as a result, I had to use more half-and-half]
  • While the pasta is cooking… in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter over low heat and  saute the mushrooms until golden. Toss in the asparagus and saute until just tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Continue to stir until smooth, adding up to 1/4 cup of the pasta water if needed until everything is nicely coated.
  • Top with more freshly grated Parmesan, chopped tomatoes, and fresh basil

This recipe confirmed my already strong conviction: everything tastes better with feta.Also: there’s no such thing as too much pasta.

Pasta pictures by Ann Kroeker.


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  • Comments

    1. I like your addition of ham as it goes well with the asparagus and other ingredients. Your photo looks delicious!!!

    2. Your version of the Lemon Garlic pasta looks wonderful. There is definitely no such thing as too much pasta! Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

    3. It sounds like quite the Father’s Day feast at your house. But I just have to ask: that extra spaghetti for the kids who didn’t want to try the stuffed shells…did they get sauce for their pasta?

      This recipe looks delicious! And I love recipes like this where it’s easy to “wing it” based on what’s in the fridge when it’s time to cook.

    4. Alrighty. I don’t have a recipe, but I do have a quote, poem, and two photos to share for Food on Fridays… I think this is my maiden voyage.

      Here’s to good eatin’ and lickin’ your plate clean.


    5. Sounds delicious! I’ll print that out and try it.


    6. One of these days I suppose I should actually contribute a recipe to Food on Fridays….

    7. Everything tastes better with feta. True, that. :)

      (And thank you, thank you for being a dear friend to me. Just had to add that.)


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