Pea and asparagus pasta, a gloriously light a fresh pasta dish featuring a splash of lemon, a sprinkle of chilli and plenty of feta cheese.
This really is the simplest of recipes and it takes right around 15 minutes to cook, making it the perfect light spring or summer meal.
Spring Pasta Primavera
The pea and asparagus pasta joins a relatively long list of lighter pasta dishes that go heavy on the addition of peas!
I love peas, A LOT! They add a natural freshness and sweetness to dishes that I adore.
I even have a pea pesto made with frozen peas that I could eat out of a jar with a spoon!
Here they sit alongside wonderful spring asparagus and provide the sweetness that contrasts with the feta cheese. If asparagus is your thing then you must check out my bacon and asparagus pasta recipe.
A little bit of chilli adds a kick of heat to one of the easiest recipes that I have on my site.
It is rounded out with feta cheese, a delicious sour and salty but light-tasting cheese that I also use in my harissa pasta recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of pasta can I use?
I usually use casarecce pasta in this dish but it works really well with a host of pasta shapes.
It is best with fairly open pasta, you should avoid shapes like penne or rigatoni because there is not a heavy sauce. Farfalle or and orecchiette pasta are particularly good in this dish. You could even use something like fusilli.
Can I use another type of cheese?
Yes, you could use any cheese that you like, the obvious choice would be parmesan but you should be adventurous!
This is particularly good with goats cheese, both the hard aged variety and the soft version work well. I have a deep-fried goats cheese with pea puree recipe that highlights how well sweet peas work with salty-sour goats cheese.
Can I omit the chilli?
Yes, it is optional, but a bit of spice really does benefit this recipe. You could add a little in with black pepper if that is more to your taste.
This pea and asparagus pasta is the perfect light and simple dinner or lunch recipe.
I tend to serve it on its own with a glass of cold crispy dry white wine. But if you wanted to bulk it out you can.
Peppery salad leaves with a simple dressing are a great addition.
Some rocket or watercress with either spring onions or thinly sliced red onions complements it really well.
Don’t forget the garlic bread of course!
I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
- 28cm or 11″ frying pan or skillet.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Colander or sieve.
- Stirring and serving spoons.
- Citrus zester.
This simple and quick pea and asparagus pasta recipe just screams with the flavours of spring. Light, bright and all done in 20 minutes it is the perfect midweek dinner.
- 180g (6oz) Dried Pasta (I used Casarecce)
- 200g (1½-2 Cups) Asparagus
- 100g (1 Cup) Peas
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- 100g (1 Cup) Feta Cheese
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ Tsp Salt (Plus extra to boil the pasta)
- Bring a 20cm or 8" pan of water to a boil and season generously with salt (1½-2 teaspoons of salt in a pan this size).
- Defrost the peas by running under cold water if using frozen.
- Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, then chop off the spears leaving them 3-4cm (1½") long and cu the stems into 1cm (½") pieces. Keep the spears and stems separate.
- Zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon keeping the zest and juice separate.
- Crumble the feta cheese into a bowl.
- When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook for 30-60 seconds less than the packet instructions (it should be a bit too al dente, but only just).
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan (28cm or 11") over a medium-low heat.
- 5 minutes before the pasta is ready add the oil.
- When the oil is hot add in the chilli flakes and cook for a minute.
- Add the chopped stalks of the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly.
- Add the asparagus spears and lemon zest and cook for a minute.
- The pasta should now be ready to drain, taking care to reserve around 75ml of the cooking water.
- Add the pasta and peas to the pan along with half of the lemon juice.
- Toss to coat and have a taste adding more lemon juice if you wish.
- Pour in enough of the cooking water whilst stirring to form a glossy silky coating on the pasta.
- Finally, remove from the heat and gently stir through most of the feta cheese saving just enough for garnish when plating.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 2231mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 18g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.