Pasta Primavera With Asparagus and Peas

4 servings
35 min

Rather than using a medley of vegetables, this simple pasta primavera spotlights spring’s biggest stars: asparagus, peas, and lots of fresh herbs. A hunk of creamy goat cheese creates an instant sauce, while fresh lemon zest and lemon juice keep each bite lively and light. I enjoy the nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta or the delightful chew of egg noodles, but feel free to use regular pasta if that’s all you have. Frozen peas are generally all I can find no matter the time of year, but fresh English peas would be a real treat if you can get them.

Sprightly asparagus, with their cross-hatched crowns, showed up at the farmer’s market for the first time this weekend. I eagerly scooped them up, like a cluster of helium balloons about to float away. I felt lucky as I exited the market with the rubber band-wrapped bunch weighing down my bag, thinking about pasta with asparagus and peas on my walk home. While the quintessential spring veggie can be found in grocery stores year-round, it’s generally the dry-stemmed kind that’s reminiscent of warmer seasons but not quite the real thing. After what feels like half a year in cold, punishing weather (just New York?), true spring asparagus is like a finish line medal. We’ve finally made it to warmer days, congrats!


Let’s make Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas

Arrange asparagus and peas in a 12-inch skillet. Add 3 tablespoons of water and bring the water to a simmer on medium. Cook, uncovered, until water has evaporated, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in remaining butter and garlic; cook until asparagus is just tender and peas are cooked through, 1-2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

With heat on low, stir goat and Pecorino cheeses into pasta, along with ½ cup pasta water.

Stir until the cheese is melted and evenly coats the pasta like a creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if the pan seems dry.

Off heat, stir in the lemon zest, juice, chopped fresh herbs, and a few cranks of black pepper.

Toss in the vegetables, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

What to serve with this easy pasta


Pasta Primavera With Asparagus and Peas
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 35 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info
Ingredients

  • 1 small log goat cheese (4 or 5 oz.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta or egg noodles
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1/2 lb), trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, pressed, or thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra for topping
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh tender herbs (such as dill, parsley, or basil), finely chopped
Instructions

Take the goat cheese out of the fridge so it can warm up while you make the rest of the recipe.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt generously. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot. Toss with 2 tablespoons of butter and a splash of pasta water. Taste the pasta and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Meanwhile, arrange asparagus and peas in a 12-inch skillet, add 3 tablespoons of water and bring the water to a simmer on medium. Cook, uncovered, until water has evaporated, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in remaining butter and garlic; cook until asparagus is just tender and peas are cooked through, 1-2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the goat cheese into about 16 pieces.
With heat on low, stir the goat and Pecorino cheeses into the pot with the pasta, along with ½ cup pasta water. Stir until the cheese is melted and evenly coats the pasta like a creamy sauce. Add more pasta water if the pan seems dry. Off heat, stir in the lemon zest, juice, chopped fresh herbs, and a few cranks of black pepper. Toss in the vegetables, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Tips
  • Use equal parts feta cheese or ½ cup crème fraîche if you don’t like goat cheese (or don’t have it).
Samantha
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
Go
Comments
Next