Here's another fantastic weeknight pasta dish that you can have on the table in just about 20 minutes. Asparagus tips and green peas, steamed until just crisp-tender, join earthy, chewy sun-dried tomatoes and aromatic chives for a springtime pairing with any al dente short pasta, such as fusilli, farfalle, gemelli, or penne. Aside from boiling the pasta and steaming the asparagus and peas, it's practically no-cook! See the variation suggestions below the recipe itself for ideas on other ingredients that you can add. Made as-is, this dish happens to be not only vegetarian, but also vegan.
- 11 ounces or 3/4 pound (320 grams) of any short pasta
- 20 stalks of asparagus
- 1 cup fresh green peas
- 20 sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), drained
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and slightly crushed with the flat side of a chef's knife
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch of chives, finely chopped
Place a large, covered pot of salted water over high heat to boil for the pasta.
Wash and dry the asparagus and snap off the woody ends. Cut the asparagus stalks into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Mix the asparagus pieces and peas and steam them together until just tender. Drain well and transfer to large serving bowl.
Chop the drained sun-dried tomatoes into approximately 1-inch pieces and add to the serving bowl together with the garlic clove.
Mix to combine the vegetables. Drizzle the vegetables with the extra-virgin olive oil, mix well to evenly coat all the vegetables, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain the pasta well and transfer it to the serving bowl. Mix well to distribute the vegetables evenly, adding another spoonful of extra-virgin olive oil, if necessary. Remove and discard the garlic clove. Serve, sprinkling chopped chives over each serving as a garnish.
- Replace the peas with 24 black olives (salt- or oil-cured), pitted and sliced in half lengthwise. (Or add the olives in addition to the peas.)
- Add 1/2 cup (4 ounces/115 grams) of cream cheese or another soft, fresh cheese to the vegetables together with a small ladleful of the pasta cooking water before mixing together with the pasta. (If you wish, you can then puree the vegetables and cream cheese together, using a handheld immersion blender, blender, or food processor, to make a creamy sauce.)