It's almost Memorial Day, so I had to get this springtime pasta recipe in before it's unofficially summer! Luckily, last I checked the farmers markets were still heavy on asparagus.
This recipe was a random happy accident. We had a handful of Rancho Gordo Corona beans I wanted to cook up, a bunch of asparagus that needed to be eaten, and Ravi wanted pasta. Thus, this dish was born!
The trick to easy cooking is making recipes work with what you have on hand and to suit your personal taste.
Feel free to sub the scallions for leeks, the Corona beans for any canned white bean, the Swiss chard for spinach, or the brown rice pasta for whole wheat. I also think a dollop of fresh ricotta or some creamy burrata would be a lovely addition.
Springtime Pasta Primavera
*If you want to stretch this dish to serve 4, add more pasta. We just like it very veggie heavy!
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup vegetable or bean broth
1 bunch green Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup cooked white beans
2/3 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 heaping cup brown rice pasta
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup chives, minced
Optional: shaved Parmesan or fresh ricotta
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions. I always aim 2-3 minutes shy and start tasting for doneness then. You want the pasta to still have a bite.
While the water comes to a boil, start the vegetables.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium. Add shallot, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cook until shallots are translucent and just starting to brown. Next, add scallions and garlic. Sauté for a minute or so until just fragrant and soft.
Add asparagus and vegetable or bean broth. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until asparagus is just shy of tender. Add Swiss chard plus another good pinch of salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until chard is wilted.
Gently stir in the white beans and peas until just heated through. If the mixture looks dry, add a splash more broth.
**At this point, you can turn off the heat and hold the veggies for a few minutes while your pasta finishes cooking. The key to this dish is not over cooking the veggies!
When the pasta is done, drain and add it to your veggie mixture. Drizzle in the additional tablespoon of oil and toss gently to combine. (If you were holding your veggies, turn the heat back to low and gently warm everything through.)
To serve: Top each bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of chopped chives, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add some shaved Parmesan or a dollop of fresh ricotta to make it extra special.