Monday was officially the first day of Spring, and what better way to celebrate than with a heaping platter of pasta, tousled with Spring veggies?!
This recipe combines some of my favorite Spring things -- asparagus and fresh peas -- with a lemon-ricotta sauce and noodles. It’s comforting without being heavy, and has all light and bright flavors that make a good Spring dish Spring-y.
It’s also happens to be one of the prettiest dishes that has graced our dining table. Twirl a fork into this recipe before asparagus becomes impossibly expensive again. Summer is on it's way.
7 oz (200g) whole wheat/ brown rice spaghetti, dry
1 cup fresh English peas
2 cups fresh asparagus
½ cup whole milk ricotta
1 lemon, juiced
¼ tsp lemon zest
½ cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.
Remove the peas from their shells, as needed. Trim the asparagus, and chop the spears into 2 inch (5cm) pieces. Set the peas and asparagus aside.
Peel the avocado and remove the seed. Add the avocado and the ricotta to the blender container.
Zest and juice the lemon. Add both the lemon zest and the juice to the blender.
Add half the vegetable stock to the blender container, and blend the ricotta, avocado, lemon juice, lemon zest and vegetable stock until smooth. Season the lemon-ricotta mixture with salt and pepper.
Crush the garlic, and add the garlic and olive oil to a large non-stick pan.
Place the pan on the stove, and brown the garlic over medium heat.
Add the peas and asparagus to the pan, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender.
Add the cooked spaghetti and lemon-ricotta sauce to the pan. Cook to heat through. Pour the remaining vegetable stock into the pan to thin-out the sauce, as needed.
Plate the pasta and serve immediately. Top each dish with finely chopped fresh mint, and grated parmesan cheese.