It might look like a laundry list of ingredients, BUT this pasta dish comes together quickly and easily with mise-en-place (that’s kitchen-speak for “everything in its place”).
This classic ode to spring can be on your table in a flash if you ensure to pre-measure and prep all your ingredients, and have the pot of water simmering for the noodles. You’ll be rewarded with a creamy, lemony sauce and bright, fresh spring vegetables that provide a welcome snap against the soft noodles. The herbs and toasty pine nuts are a must here as they bring a cohesiveness to the dish and elevate it to something ethereal.
Make sure to serve this piping hot with lots of fresh grated cheese at the table- as we’ve said before, pasta waits for no one! A pinch of hot pepper flakes would be lovely as well, if you enjoy the heat like we do.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot chopped
- 12 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes large ones halved
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¾ pound asparagus tough ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
- ¼ pound snap peas
- ¾ cup frozen green peas
- ¼ cup pine nuts lightly toasted
- ¼ cup basil chopped
- ¼ cup Italian parsley chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 ounces grated parmigiano-reggiano plus more for passing at the table
- 16 ounces fresh or dried fettucine
- Kosher salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season liberally with kosher salt. Keep at a simmer until ready to cook the pasta.
In a very large saute pan, preferably with a lid*, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook over high heat until they start to take on a bit of char and are splattering, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and before the garlic starts to take on color (about 20 seconds later), add the vinegar and the water. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Remove the cover and if there is a lot of liquid, let it continue to cook until reduced by about half. Use a heat proof rubber spatula to scrape the tomatoes in a bowl and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
In the same pan, without cleaning it, add the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and ½ teaspoon salt and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add asparagus and the snap peas, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and let sit while the pasta cooks.
Bring the water for the pasta to a full rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (it will continue to cook in the saute pan so make sure to cook it 1-2 minutes shy of being totally done). Using tongs, scoop the pasta out and add it to the pan with the asparagus and peas, and add in ½ cup of the pasta water. Keep the pasta water in the pot on the stove in case you need it to thin out the pasta at the end.
Increase the heat to medium and add the peas, cream, lemon zest,** pine nuts, basil and parsley to the pasta in the pan. Simmer for a minute or two, tasting for seasoning. Add salt if needed. If the pasta seems too thick, add a little pasta water and stir it until it creates a nice, creamy sauce.
Off the heat, stir in the cheese. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, or onto individual plates, and top with the tomato mixture. Serve warm with more cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.
*If you don’t have a large enough saute pan with a lid, you can use a stockpot or dutch oven.
**When measuring the cream, use a small pyrex measuring cup, and zest the lemon right into the cream.
Try with Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc ’16.