A bowl of pasta with sausage and vegetables.

Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables ~ Lemon Caper Sauce

  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Egg Fettuccini Pasta is coated in a Lemon Caper Sauce and tossed with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan, Pine Nuts and fresh herbs. Fresh, bright flavors define this simple, quick meal.


  • 23 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups asparagus tips (Snap asparagus in half and discard the tough bottom half of the stalks. Cut asparagus tips into 1-inch pieces.)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into three pieces
  • 4 oz non pareil capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 12 oz fresh or dried egg fettuccini noodles
  • 1 lb ground Italian Sausage, hot or sweet
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 16 oz)
  • Optional toppings: chopped basil or more chopped parsley, shaved parmesan, pine nuts (toasted or raw)


  1. Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil is just beginning to smoke and add the asparagus tips. Using a wooden spoon, spatula, or tongs, toss the asparagus around in the hot oil for a few seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to toss until they are crisp-tender and blackening in spots. This will happen very quickly. Have a fork ready beside the pan so that you can quickly remove one pice and bite into it to test.
  2. Remove asparagus from the pan to a plate, return the pan to medium-high heat, and add 2 tbsp of oil.
  3. Add the diced shallot and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add broth and lemon juice and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup (about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until fully melted and incorporated. Stir in capers and fresh parsley. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  5. Cook the pasta: Fill a large pan 2/3 full with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente (cooked through but still firm when bitten into). Refer to the package for approximate cooking times. The goal is for the pasta to be just slightly underdone because it will keep cooking after you remove it from the heat and toss it with the warm lemon-caper sauce. Homemade fresh pasta, will cook very quickly – in about 2 minutes – so watch carefully.
  6. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Pour the lemon-caper sauce over the pasta and toss. Cover to keep warm.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the ground sausage and cook until no pink remains in the middle of the pieces of sausage.
  8. Add the cooked sausage to the pasta along with the sautéed asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine.
  9. Serve along with any or all of the optional toppings.