weeknight gourmet

Spring is in the Kitchen! Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas

Taste: ***
Difficulty: Easy
Cleanup: Quick

Here’s a great springtime pasta dish!  Asparagus and peas are early signs of spring and two of my favorite vegetables.

img_1703Look for compact tips when selecting asparagus to guarantee freshness.  Also, to ensure that your asparagus cooks evenly, select asparagus spears of uniform thickness.

I used frozen peas for the dish.  Frozen peas are a nice time saver and are a great substitute for fresh peas.

My only caveat in making this dish is to make sure the stock reduces.  I don’t think I cooked the stock down enough and the sauce was a little more watery than I would have liked.

Tim and I both enjoyed the dish and it was a great sign of the season to come.

Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas
Food & Wine

  • 1/2 pound penne
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) shelled English peas or frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the peas and cream to the skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the penne and cook until heated through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, sage and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve right away, passing additional cheese at the table.

Serves 4.

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