Spring Pea and Asparagus Pasta
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Main
A very green pasta dish bursting with spring flavors, including peas, asparagus and fresh herbs. Once you have prepped your vegetables, the dish comes together rather quickly. This recipe yields a lot (enough for 6 to 8 servings) so feel free to halve it if you are serving two.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) whole grain pasta (conchiglie, orecchiette, shells, fusilli or linguine will work)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 5 shallots, quartered lengthwise and sliced very thin crosswise
- 1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, woody ends snapped off, and cut in 1/2-inch slices on the bias
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups shelled fresh or frozen English peas (defrost peas if frozen)
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or regular Parmesan), plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from one lemon)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (less than one lemon)
- 1 cup roughly chopped mixed herbs (I used flat-leaf Italian parsley, chives and mint, other suggestions include chervil and tarragon)
- 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- First, prep your vegetables. Then bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta for two minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in your largest frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
- Add the asparagus and garlic, season with salt, and cook until the asparagus is knife-tender and bright green (about 3 minutes). Stir in the peas and cook until the peas are bright green (about 2 minutes).
- Add the drained pasta to the pan along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to coat. Cook until the sauce starts to coat the pasta (about 2 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and transfer its contents to a large serving bowl. Add the cheese and butter and stir to coat. (Add more pasta water as needed. The sauce should just cling to the pasta.)
- Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs and pine nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings as required (add a pinch of salt, red pepper flakes and/or a squeeze of lemon juice if desired). Grate some cheese over the top and garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.