Spring is officially here and though it may not seem like it with the weather we have been having, I still have all things spring on my mind. Today’s recipe is one that is basically springtime in a bowl! Asparagus, onions, peas, fresh herbs, and lemon… yes that to me screams spring.
It’s not a secret how much I love pasta. It’s so versatile, and perfect for spring and summer when you want to get light meals on the table fast. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be much busier in the spring/summer months, so I definitely don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen all day. I also like to eat a lot lighter, in the sense that I crave more vegetables and fruits and am ready to leave all the heavy winter comfort foods behind.
There is nothing easier than boiling up some pasta, tossing in some fresh veggies and a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s one of my favorite go-to recipes all season long! I actually have many variations of this dish depending on what vegetables are at their peak. You can add whatever looks good at the grocery store or farmers market. This recipe is more so a guide, so feel to mix it up!
I have a slight obsession with ricotta cheese. I could eat it by the spoonful (and sometimes I do just that), but it’s amazing dolloped on top of this pasta dish. A little goes a long way… it adds richness, but is still light enough that it doesn’t weigh you down. It’s the perfect winter to spring transition meal!
The flavors are spot on in this spring pasta. You can taste the onions, garlic, and just a hint of lemon, which works so well with the vegetables. Adding fresh herbs and ricotta cheese on top are just delicate enough to not overpower any of the ingredients.
Normally I would use whole-wheat pasta for this dish, but I only had the regular on hand. It works well with either, but I love the flavor of whole-wheat, so that’s my preference. If you are one that needs to have meat in your meals, go ahead and add some shredded chicken. I think it’s substantial enough on it’s own, but again that’s just my preference.
I hope you will welcome spring with this delicious meal – add a salad and some crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a winner. The leftovers are great too… perfect for lunch throughout the week.
What are you favorite spring meals?
Spring Pasta and Ricotta
Welcome spring with this easy and delicious pasta dish. Fresh asparagus, onions, and peas combine with a touch of lemon and creamy ricotta cheese.
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 Min. | Cook Time: 15 Min.
1 lb. Short-Cut Pasta, such as rotini
1 Cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 Large Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Bunch Asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 ½ Cups Frozen Peas, not thawed
4 Scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, for topping
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with salt and pepper and the lemon zest; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper and add in the garlic. Turn the heat to low and add the peas and lemon juice.
Toss the pasta into the vegetable mixture and add the remaining olive oil, mix well. If the pasta needs moisture, add in the pasta water a little at a time until it’s moistened.
Portion out the pasta into serving bowls and top with a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture, scallions, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle each serving with a small amount of olive oil and serve.
- Feel free to mix up the veggies and add whatever you like!
- Use whole-wheat pasta if you want to add some more fiber and protein to the dish. You can also add some shredded chicken if you’d like.