Linguine tossed with a light and lemony Limoncello Asiago Cream Sauce makes the perfect, quick and delicious weeknight meal.
Several months ago I was contacted by the Asiago Cheese Consortium to sample some of their Asiago cheese.
I came home one day and found four very large boxes sitting by my front door. Now I thought I was getting samples and not whole wheels of cheese!
Since the Consortium was so generous, not only did I donate most of the cheese to our local food pantry, I created several new recipes including this linguine recipe.
History of Asiago Cheese
Asiago cheese has been produced since the year 1000 in the Asiago Plateau of Italy. Initially sheep’s milk was used, but from the 1500s cow’s milk became the raw material used.
In the early twentieth century, Fresh Asiago was born from the traditions of the DOP region; combined with innovative cheese making technology. The flavor of this cheese, sweet and mild.
What is Asiago Cheese PDO?
Protected Destination of Origin status (DOP in Italian, standing for Denominazione di Origine Protetta) is the best guarantee of excellence in a European agri-food product.
In the case of Asiago cheese, this indicates that the product’s qualities come principally from the geographical environment in which it is made; including natural and human factors, and that its production, processing and preparation take place exclusively in the area of origin.
This means that only cheese which is produced, matured, packaged and distributed in compliance with the Asiago DOP Cheese Production Regulations is “Asiago Cheese”. All the rest is just “cheese”.
Types of Asiago cheese
Fresh Asiago is a cheese with a young flavor and a taste of milk fresh from the cow, melting in the mouth to release sweet and slightly sour notes.
The cheese’s digestibility and palatability, and the presence of live lactic ferments, are qualities appreciated by nutritionists who recommend Fresh Asiago for a good, healthy diet.
Aged Asiago is a flavorful cheese with a strong personality. It should be chewed slowly until its aromatic notes explode in the mouth. It can be “Mezzano” (medium seasoned), “Vecchio” (mature) or “Stravecchio” (extra mature) depending on the seasoning.
Aged Asiago is a product much appreciated for its uniqueness and its flavor, whose strong personality differentiates it from any other seasoned cheese. It can contribute up to 50% of daily protein requirements, with a protein content of high nutritional value.
I opted to use the Fresh Asiago for this recipe and combine it with another familiar Italian flavor, Limoncello; which is a lemon liquor made in Italy.
The flavor of lemon paired with fresh basil and the sweet, creamy flavor of the fresh Asiago was wonderful!
The entire meal only took 30 minutes to make and can be served as a main entree or used as a side dish. I also used half and half instead of heavy cream as I didn't want the sauce to be too heavy.
This Linguine with Limoncello Asiago Cream Sauce transported me back to our trip to Italy we took a few summers ago and really made me want to visit again. It's amazing how food can make you nostalgic and put you in a completely different state of mind. ~Enjoy!
How do you make Linguine in a Limoncello Asiago Cream Sauce?
Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions; drain. While the pasta is cooking, heat the half and half in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the flour forming a roux; then whisk in the Limoncello and warmed half and half until it's smooth.
Next, add the cheese, reduce heat to low and stir until the cheese is melted; set aside. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Visit the recipe index to search for more recipes by category.
More Asiago Cheese Recipes
- Spinach & Asiago Mini Quiche
- Italian Nachos
- Rosemary Asiago Cheese Crisps
- Roast Beef & Asiago Panini
- Asiago Risotto
- Creamy Farro with Spinach, Garlic and Asiago
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Linguine with Limoncello Asiago Cream Sauce
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the half and half in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the flour forming a roux; then whisk in the Limoncello and warmed half and half until it's smooth.
- Next, add the cheese, reduce heat to low and stir until the cheese is melted; set aside.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, add the basil and season with pepper.