spring pasta with green vegetables

photo of a large serving bowl full of curly pasta with green vegetables and cheese

Spring vegetables are in, and around our house that means salads and pasta. With enough veggies, you can have both in one bowl. You could call this a "pasta primavera", I suppose, although that name has been abused enough that I'd just as well rather not.

I'll give you an actual recipe with quantities for this pasta, but change it according to what spring veggies you actually have available. Just try to get a good variety. Here in Oregon we've had a terrific asparagus season, with local asparagus available for five weeks now, so that definitely goes in. Our snap peas have started to fruit, so I used those. Herbs, spinach, and spring onions all looked good at the market, so I used those too. And we can get some gentle pungency from garlic spears/scapes; those work well with all of the other lightly cooked vegetables.

You're going to want a mild, gooey cheese for this pasta. We used Trader Joe's "burrata filling", otherwise known as strachiatella in Italy. Cresenza would also work brilliantly, as would a very mild tallegio, and quark would be pretty good. Chevre would work as well, but you'll want to add some additional pasta water for moisture.

Ready? Let's eat!

spring pasta with green vegetables

  • 1lbs short twisty pasta
  • 4-5 Tbs high-quality virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic spears or 6-8 garlic scapes
  • 1-5 spring onions (depending on thickness, about 2/3 cup sliced)
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, about 11oz
  • 1 pint snap peas
  • 1 small bunch fresh spearamint, about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley, about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 12oz mild gooey cheese (see above)
  • Fresh grated parmigiano, 1-2oz
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Large pasta pot, spider or steaming basket, large serving bowl

Prep all the vegetables. Cut the garlic into 1/4" pieces, slice the spring onions thin, stem and snap the peas in half, and strip and mince the herbs. If the asparagus are skinny, cut them into 1" long pieces. If they are thick, slice them into 1/3" slices.

Bring a large pot full of well-salted water to a boil. Put the asparagus and garlic spears/scapes in the spider or basket, and blanche them for 2 minutes. Lift, shake off the water, and put in the bowl. Put the peas in the basket and blanche for 1 minute, and then do the same. Add the spring onions.

Add the pasta and cook according to the given timing. You want the pasta a bit beyond al dente, since it won't cook further, so check that it's done all the way through. As soon as the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and drain the rest.

Put the still hot pasta into the bowl and cover it with dabs of the gooey cheese. Toss it with the vegetables in the bowl until the cheese evenly coats everything. Then add the chopped herbs and fresh ground pepper and toss again. Taste for salt, and add some if necessary. Finally, grade the parmigiano over the top. Serve warm or room temperature.

Enjoy, and happy spring!

Note: the pasta can be any short, curly/twisty variety. You can use telephone cord pasta like I did, or fusilli, casarecce, radiatore, or similar. It would also work pretty well with farfalle.