Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi - angle view

Shrimp and asparagus Ribbon cavatappi

Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi - angle view

This Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi recipe came about because I asked my family what they were craving and pasta was the unanimous vote. I always have shrimp in the freezer and we’d picked up fresh asparagus from Edgar Farms on the weekend so I started thinking about a light but creamy sauce with dill and lots of lemon and voila – this recipe was born on the fly tonight as my gang pulled in the driveway.

I got a little fancy and used a vegetable peeler to make asparagus “ribbons” but that’s just me playing. You can just chop it up if you are in a hurry. It was a little fiddle-y to do. And, it’ll taste great either way. One other word about this recipe – it makes a lot. We like that in our home because we enjoy leftovers. If you don’t, consider halving the recipe. Read on for the printable copy.

Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi - close up

Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi

Shrimp and Asparagus Ribbon Cavatappi - overhead view

Lemon and dill are the flavours that accent this fast and easy spring pasta dish.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Chopping and Boiling
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Water and Salt
  • 1 lb cavatappi or other pasta favourite
  • 1 bunch fresh local asparagus, cleaned to remove any sand in the tips
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed or 1 Tablespoon fresh
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut in ½-inch cubes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fill a large pasta pot with water and add about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and meanwhile proceed with rest of prep.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons of the asparagus spears. To do this, lay a spear on its side and starting at the rough end, peel ribbons away from the tough end, moving your hand as needed for the peeler to pass, all the way through to the tip. Pro tip: I flip the spear part way through as it is easier to catch the rounded outer bits in the peeler. Admittedly, my middle ribbons were a bit thicker but nobody seemed to mind! Set the ribbons aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once melted add the shallots and cook until translucent.
  4. Stir in the dill weed followed immediately by the stock and bring to a simmer.
  5. Stir in the cream cheese cubs, allow them to soften and then stir them until they form a creamy sauce.
  6. Use a zester to peel half the rind of the lemon in long curls (reserve these for garnish) then use a micro plane to finely zest the other half of the rind. Cut the lemon in half then and juice it.
  7. Pour the juice and the fine zest into the sauce followed by the shrimp. Cook the shrimp about 2 minutes – just as it is starting to turn pink. Lower the heat. The pasta should be done by now.
  8. Drain the pasta and return to the pasta pot. Throw the asparagus spears in on top of it and pour the cream sauce on top of it and stir well.
  9. Transter the pasta to a large serving platter and top with the lemon zest curls and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Enjoy with crusty bread or focaccia.


If you make the full amount, you’ll likely have great leftovers. If you don’t like leftovers, halve the recipe.

Equipment: pasta pot, vegetable peeler, cutting board, knife, large skillet, strainer, serving platter

Keywords: easy pasta

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