This is a quick and flavorful dish that is perfect for a time-crunched day. By adding a little of the pasta cooking water to the dish, the small amount of cheese blends into a light and creamy sauce.
Learn how to cut mint leaves into small ribbons, and how to use pasta water to help make a creamy sauce.
Level Ups (optional)
Use whole wheat or whole grain pasta. Add a can of chickpeas to this recipe, or throw in a handful of spinach leaves at the end.
Substitute snap peas for asparagus.
Microplane or zester
- 8 ounces of dried rigatoni, fusilli or penne
- Salt for the water
- ½ lb asparagus, woody stems trimmed and cut on the bias into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium summer squash, sliced into ⅛ inch half moons
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 cup shelled peas, fresh or defrosted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 cup of mint leaves, thinly cross-cut ribbon style (chiffonade)
- 1 ounce grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Cracked black pepper
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 ½ cups pasta water and then drain pasta.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Add the asparagus and summer squash and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the peas. Add the garlic, stirring, just until garlic turns golden, about 30 seconds. Season with salt, ground pepper, chili flakes and lemon zest. Add pasta and ½ cup of reserved pasta water. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, 1- 2 minutes.
- Remove the pasta from heat and stir in three-quarters of the cheese, mint and all the lemon juice. Add more pasta water if needed, a few tablespoons at a time, until sauce evenly coats pasta. Garnish with the remaining cheese, mint, and cracked black pepper.