Well, I'm done with winter, even if winter isn't done with me. In solidarity with the daffodils that are struggling to emerge through the snow in my front yard, I am determined to think Spring! This dish is just the thing - spring onion, asparagus and peas in a lemony yogurt sauce over fettuccine. The combination of herbs and vegetables is a sweet and fresh welcome to the season. If you are using frozen peas, as I have, don't add them until the last minute.
Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas
Adapted from Melissa Clark at the New York Times
½ pound asparagus, ends snapped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup fresh English peas (or frozen)
¼ cup thinly sliced spring onion, white part only (or use shallot)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
Black pepper, more as needed
12 ounces fettuccine or tagliatelle
⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, at room temperature
½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt or crème fraîche at room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
While the water is coming to a boil, slice asparagus stems into 1/2-inch-thick pieces; leave asparagus tips whole.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, English peas and onion. If you are using frozen peas, add in the next step.
Cook until vegetables are barely tender (but not too soft or mushy), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente (1 to 3 minutes for fresh pasta, more for dried pasta). Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water from pasta. Drain well and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Immediately toss pasta with yogurt, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and herbs adding a little of the pasta cooking liquid to thin. Top with vegetables, sprinkle with lemon zest and additional parmesan. Season generously with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately.