Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pasta with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Peas

I hit up the Dane County Farmers Market this Saturday and went home with spring's bounty of fresh mushrooms, asparagus, arugula and spinach. Tonight's dinner features the mushrooms and asparagus, plus the convenience of frozen peas and grape tomatoes. I was trying to find a recipe that used as many of the ingredients in one dish as possible, but when I found this recipe on, I decided I had to give it a try and find other recipes for the rest of my veggies.

I like this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, it came together quickly, which is always important. Second, I think this could be easily modified to fit whatever veggies you've got on hand. It's a pretty simple concept and could easily be made vegetarian. Third and MOST important - the result was DELICIOUS. The only thing I'd change if I did it again was perhaps used diced regular tomatoes. I think the grape tomatoes I used were a bit too sweet and overshadowed the other flavors whenever I had a bite with a tomato.

I did modify this a bit. I halved everything (although nearly everything is approximate anyway), I used thin spaghetti instead of fettucine, I used regular white button mushrooms instead of cremini, added garlic to the sauteed mushrooms, and I used bacon instead of prosciutto.

Here's the recipe on epicurious and I've described a halved version in a nutshell below:

Ingredients for 2-3 servings:
  • 4 oz asparagus cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti (or whatever your favorite pasta shape is)
  • 2 sliced of bacon chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 C. frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Couple handfulls of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

  1. Heat pot of boiling, salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Remove asparagus to separate bowl.
  2. In same pot of water, cook the pasta until al dente. Don't over cook!
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan on medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crispy. Remove bacon pieces to a paper towel to drain. Drain off bacon grease, leaving ~1 Tbsp in pan.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms to the saute pan, and saute for 3-5 minutes. Halfway in, add the garlic, taking care to not let it burn.
  5. Add peas, asparagus, and cream and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat and cook until reduced.
  6. Add parmesan cheese to taste, and season with pepper (and more salt if needed)
  7. Add pasta, bacon pieces, and tomatoes into pan, and sautee on mediume high heat for a couple of minutes until sauce coates the pasta thoroughly.
  8. Plate and enjoy!
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  1. I love how colorful and perfect it is for spring!

  2. What a lovely dish! Nice and light and perfect for spring. I think that it would taste heavenly with the addition of some baby portabellas... YUM! Thanks for sharing.
    - Brittany