spring pasta 1

I know I’ve been posting a lot of pasta recipes lately but here comes another one and this one doesn’t have anything to do with fall. In fact most of the flavors incorporate traditional springtime ingredients. But, I make no apologies! It’s delicious and quick and wonderful. It’s also a Matt approved meat-free meal.

Between the asparagus, peas and lemon this pasta is full of freshness and bright flavors. The weather has been a bit dreary here in New Jersey and this pasta was the perfect pick-me-up I needed. I happened to have 1/2 lb of penne to use up so this recipe makes a bit less than my usual pasta recipes do. I’m also trying to work on portion control especially when it comes to carbs. I’m always tempted to pile on the pasta and help myself to seconds (and thirds). Cooking less ensures that I will eat less. If you want to use a full pound of pasta, just double the recipe.

1/2 lb. penne pasta
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of minced garlic
10-15 (approximate) asparagus spears cut into bite sized pieces
zest and juice of one lemon (about a teaspoon of the zest)
1 cup of frozen peas
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
black pepper

1. Bring a pot of boiling salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cook according to package directions until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for one minute (don’t let it burn) and then add in the pieces of asparagus. Sautee for 5 minutes with the garlic and then add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for a few minutes.

3. Add the frozen peas to the pot with the boiling water and the pasta during the last minute the pasta is cooking.

4. Then drain the pasta and peas into a colander and add directly to the pan with the garlic, asparagus and lemon.
Turn the heat off and add a good amount of black pepper and the parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Taste for any seasonings. If it needs more lemon, pepper or cheese add as needed!

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