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Asparagus with Shiitakes, Bowtie Pasta, and Spring Peas

Early spring is a great time to "go green" in the kitchen. As our thoughts turn to gardening and farming, it's time to turn over a new, green leaf.

In early spring, farm markets will put out their first crops of the season–peas, asparagus, and early greens. One of the "greener" farmer's traditions is to plant peas on St. Patrick's Day. The sturdy peas take root in the cold ground and provide the spring kitchen with one of the sweetest green treats.

The Asparagus with Shiitakes, Bowtie Pasta and Spring Peas uses three different varieties of peas—sugar snap peas, snow peas and green peas – for a bright, spring flavor. The vegetables are cooked minimally to help retain their bright green flavor and natural sweetness.

This and other green recipes can be found in The Culinary Institute of America's Vegetables Cookbook.

Asparagus with Shiitakes, Bowtie Pasta, and Spring Peas

Ingredients

Makes 8 Servings

  • 3 pounds asparagus, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • 2 cups dried bowtie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons chopped marjoram
  • 2 bunches scallions, split lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan, shaved, to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil to blanch the peas and a large pot of salted water to boil to cook the pasta. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Toss the asparagus with the oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in a baking pan under the broiler, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Slice the asparagus on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces and reserve.
  3. Cook each type of pea separately in the boiling water until almost tender, about 2 minutes each. Remove them from the water using a slotted spoon or small strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and reserve. (The vegetables can be prepared in advance and held in covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.)
  4. Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender to the bite, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well, reserving some of the pasta water to adjust the consistency of the dish.
  5. Heat the butter in a sauté pan until it begins to turn brown. Add the shiitakes and shallots and sauté until they are light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, green peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, marjoram, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Sauté, stirring or tossing, until the vegetables are thoroughly heated, about 3 minutes. Add the hot pasta and toss the pasta with the cooked vegetables and scallions until evenly blended. Add a little of the pasta water to moisten the dish if necessary. Serve on heated plates and top with shaved Parmesan.
 Nutrition analysis per 12-ounce serving: 370 calories, 23g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 9g fat, 430mg sodium, 5mg cholesterol, 14g fiber

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