Great Meals for a Change

A fun way to taste, talk and learn about sustainable food

Pasta with Asparagus-Mushroom Sauce

Prep Time: 45 minutesMakes: 8 servings

A rich sauce of mushrooms and onions with tender asparagus served on a bed of pasta.


  • 2 lbs fresh asparagus as slender as possible, trimmed at the bottom and cut into 2-inch spears
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 ¼ cups minced onions
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ lb of mushroom
  • ¾ tsp of tarragon
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ¼ cups dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • About 1 tbsp of flour, depending on how thick you like the sauce
  • 8 to 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ lb pasta (penne, ziti, or fusili)
  • Optional: olive oil or extra butter for the pasta
  • Parmesan chesse, grated
  • Optional: freshly minced dill, for the top


  • Steam the asparagus until just tender. Transfer to a colander over sink and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add onions and salt and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushroom, tarragon and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add wine and water. Turn up heat until the liquid boils. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly until it completely dissolves. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and cook about 5 minutes more. Set aside until serving time.
  • Gently reheat the sauce while you cook the pasta. Stir the steamed asparagus into the sauce at the last minute. Toss the drained pasta with a little olive oil or butter, if desired, and serve topped with sauce, parmesan, and possibly a little freshly minced dill.
Taken from: "Moosewood Cookbook," by M. Katezan (1992)