April is prime asparagus season, so it’s high time to incorporate this tasty little vegetable into your home cooking if you haven’t already. Put the typical tomato sauce on hold, and try this fresh spring pasta recipe instead. Perfect for the warm weather ahead, this dish is served room temperature.
I’ve used shell pasta here but bow tie or penne pasta noodles work well too. Using frozen sweet peas (aka garden peas or English peas) for this recipe is a time-saver, but if you can get them fresh it’s worth the extra effort. Be sure not to overcook the asparagus as you want it to maintain its firmness and bright green color.
Serves 4; makes about 6 cups
2 cups dried medium pasta shells
½ cup sweet peas
12 fresh asparagus stalks, sliced on the diagonal into ½ – 2 inch pieces, tough ends discarded
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
6-8 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Udo’s Oil 3·6·9 Blend
1 tablespoon good olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan, or to taste (optional)
1 fresh lemon, quartered and seeds removed
Sea salt or Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta shells. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente, stirring occasionally so the shells don’t stick together;
- Place pasta in a strainer, run under cold water for about 30 seconds to cool, shake to strain excess water, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add olive oil, toss until evenly coated, and set pasta bowl aside.
- In a medium pot, add 1/2 inch of water and bring to a boil. Insert steamer basket into pot, and add peas and asparagus slices. Steam for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Remove from pot and place in pasta bowl.
- Add Udo’s Oil, green onions, mint, pine nuts to pasta bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss all ingredients together.
- Transfer pasta to serving dish, squeeze fresh lemon juice over dish, and top with freshly grated parmesan.