A spring vegetable pasta dish that is cooked all in one pot, cooled, dressed with a delicious lemon vinaigrette, and topped with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. A light and refreshing pasta salad ready in under 30 minutes!
The babe has been loving it too. We go outside nearly everyday (minus the rainy days) and he practically giggles with excitement when I put him in the stroller.
I know. I was putting out Spring recipes even while winter was still in full effect (I couldn’t help it. I was too excited and I didn’t know for sure if the winter would even end!) But to celebrate what I think is finally an end to winter, I had to make a very “Spring-y” pasta dish that was ready super quick. Less time preparing meals = more time outside soaking in the amazing weather.
So here’s how it goes down: Boil water, add pasta.
While the pasta is boiling, you can prepare the asparagus. Cut it up into pieces (I made about 4-5 cuts per piece of asparagus), and make sure to remove the woody ends.
Which PS, did you know that they will naturally break off? So you don’t even have to worry about wasting any bit of asparagus. Yeah, I learned that tip from the Kitchn. And it’s fantastically accurate.
When the pasta is “al dente” or slightly under-cooked and still a bit hard, add in the asparagus. After one minute, add in one cup of frozen peas and one cup of frozen corn. The asparagus will be done when the color is a bright green and they are tender when pierced with a fork. The peas and corn take about 2-3 minutes.
You may have to adjust this boiling step just a little bit depending on the size of your asparagus. (Thicker stalks = longer boiling time, thinner = less time)
Make sure the water is a rolling boil when the vegetables are added. And if you’ve used a large pot, you shouldn’t have a problem with anything boiling over.
While the pasta is boiling and then the veggies, the dressing gets whipped up pretty quick.
Just combine ingredients in a jar and shake. My favorite way to do dressing. It’s so easy and very effective. The dressing is lemon-y flavored and super good for you. Win.
Once the pasta and veggies have been drained and rinsed in cool water (stops the cooking and cools everything down for the dressing). Add in the dressing and then some Parmesan cheese. Feel free to increase or decrease the amounts of cheese to your preference. Oh yes, and pine nuts. Totally optional. But really, add them in! So good!
Oh yes, and a little squeeze of lemon…
- 3 cups shells pasta measured when dry
- 8 ounces asparagus
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard not regular
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from a fresh lemon; more to taste)
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add in the pasta shells and follow package directions to cook until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, remove the woody stems of the asparagus (check post for tip) and chop them into large pieces.
Once the asparagus is cut, start the dressing by combining the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey. salt, pepper, dijon mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a tightly resealable jar. Shake until well combined.
Once the pasta is to the al dente stage, add in the asparagus. After one minute, add in the frozen corn and peas with the butter. (Butter softens and gives a nice flavor to the ingredients)
When everything is cooked through, drain and rinse with cool water until cool.
Stir in the dressing to taste preference (you may want all of it or you may want less).
Season with additional salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and pine nuts (again to taste preference -- do not add the Parmesan cheese until everything is completely cooled)
Serve immediately or store in the fridge.
Craving more Spring recipes?