Fettuccini with Asparagus, Peas and Mint

By Beacon Staff

Spring is an inspirational time of year. We set goals, deep clean, and rub the winter hibernation out of our eyes.

We watch trees bud and grass return to its shade of green color.

Along with spring comes the anticipation of favorite green vegetables coming into season.

Everything green becomes food fashion. Classic spring vegetable pairings such as asparagus, peas and mint are a nice way to enliven and rejuvenate the palate, while offering a visually appealing dish to your diners. Another beautiful fascination about food is its extreme versatility.

The ability to mix and match with what’s in season and what you have on hand can make creating fun and easy. Recipes are essentially guidelines to achieve the end result, which is a tasty dish that everyone will enjoy. While following a recipe to the teaspoon is perfectly acceptable, don’t be bashful in altering it to suit your own personal tastes and convenience needs.

For example, if you don’t have or like mint, use flat leaf parsley.

You have spaghetti noodles but not fettuccini? Then use it! If you can’t get past the peas that Grandma used to make you eat, then simply substitute spinach or broccoli.

You reach for the heavy cream and there isn’t any? Then skip it and toss with a little extra olive oil and cheese.

Bright and delicious flavor with minimal effort is achieved with this perfect springtime dish.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 C. shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
  • 1 lb. asparagus ends trimmed and bias cut in 1” pieces
  • 1 C. heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C. fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. fettuccini pasta
  • 1/2 C. pasta cooking water
  • 1 C. parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot boil water and cook pasta until al dente.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.

While pasta cooks, in a large sauté pan heat olive oil over moderate heat and add onion and garlic. Sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add asparagus, peas and lemon zest, sauté an additional 3-4 minutes.

Add heavy cream and lemon juice; simmer rapidly until reduced, about 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Remove from heat.

Transfer drained pasta back to original cooking pot and add vegetable and sauce mixture, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid and mint.

Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately with shaved parmesan cheese and additional mint if desired.

Bon Appetit!

Jamie Liphardt is a personal chef with Delicious HomeCooked Food in Bigfork.

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