It’s always a good season for pasta but I particularly like spring for light, bright, fun pasta dishes. This week, I’m rolling out 3 must make spring pastas. The first one is the one I thought was going to be my least favorite in the taste test and it ended up being the cleanest bowl at the end of the night - this pasta is legit! It’s got some of those rich ingredients we all love in pasta - butter, cheese, and creme fraiche - but the simplicity of the sauce and the spring veggies make it light enough to eat on a warm day. And it’s great at room temp, so don’t feel like it needs to be piping hot when served.
*** I did all three pastas in small, shareable servings so you can make a couple (or all three) of them and share as a date-night in. If you choose to just make one, you can double up the amount of ingredients for two large portions or four small portions. I suggest making all 3 for a Spring Pasta Dinner Party. They’re all make ahead, so all you’ll have to do is warm the sauce and boil the pasta to finish. Plus, all great at room temp (most good pastas are). I’ll have them all posted by the end of this week!
2 small servings, 1 large serving
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons salted butter
2 green onions (white and green parts) - sliced
1 small bunch asparagus tips - cut into penne sized pieces
Red pepper flake
1/2 lemon - juiced
For the pasta:
4 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Poppy Seed, for sprinkling
Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat and don’t touch until it starts to brown. When butter is golden brown, add the green onions and asparagus with a dash of salt and sprinkle of red pepper flake - to taste (remember the butter is salted - if you use unsalted butter, add more salt). Let cook about 2 minutes - tossing occasionally. Squeeze in the lemon juice and keep warm.
Boil the pasta in salted water according to the package directions but watch closely and test every few minutes. It usually takes half the amount of time it says on the package to get to al dente - you want pasta to still have a bite and not be mushy. Transfer pasta to a bowl, add the asparagus sauce and Parmesan, and toss everything together. Plate and add a dollop of creme fraiche and sprinkle of poppyseed.
** Sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for several days. For last minute assembly, warm the sauce, cook the pasta, and toss together.