• Mike

Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Peas, & Cheese

There's a glorious couple of weeks late in every June where the Asparagus is still going, and the first shelling peas of the season are coming on. Pasta is all about timing - having your toppings almost ready when the pasta's done. Easier to do with fresh pasta because the cooking time is shorter, but practice makes perfect.


Ingredients (4 servings)

  • Pasta for four

  • 1 lb asparagus, chopped on an angle to 2-3" lengths

  • 1 quart shelling peas, shelled

  • 1 cup finely shredded hard cheese (like parmesan or grana padano - GTFO with that fake stuff in the shaker) - plus a little more for garnish

  • Small handful of fresh chives, chopped medium

  • Small handful of sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Big bowl of ice water

Method:

  • Bring a big pot of well-salted water to a hard boil

  • Turn a big pan on to medium-low

  • Put your big bowl of ice water next to the pot

  • Drop your asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove immediately to the ice water (this is called blanching), then strain out when cool

  • Add a dollop of olive oil to the boiling water, and drop your pasta in to boil

  • When your pasta is about 2 minutes away from being done, coat your hot pan with olive oil, and toss in the asparagus

  • When your pasta is almost done (still a little crunchy, but not too much), move it to your pan and turn up to medium-high

  • Scoop in 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water

  • Sprinkle your 1 cup of cheese over the top, and stir

  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick, and so your pasta gets coated

  • Once the sauce is almost at the consistency you want, add the peas and sun-dried tomatoes, and salt to taste

  • Portion out, sprinkle with chives, pepper, and chive flowers, and serve with the extra cheese for garnish

Wine Pairing:

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