Last weekend we had a bit of a heat wave followed by a good soaking rain and everything in the garden just exploded. Yesterday all these peas appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. These ones in the photo above are an edible-podded pea called Golden of India. They’re quite striking with their pale yellow pods and magenta flowers. We have sugar snaps and a few varieties of shelling peas coming in too.
Asparagus season is on it’s way out around here. It will probably be gone in a week or two. I was feeling like I hadn’t quite had my fill yet, so today I picked up one last bunch to eat with the first of the peas and a few other garden pickings. The asparagus isn’t quite as sweet and tender as it was a month ago, but the peas more than make up for it. They are like candy.
Pasta with Spring Vegetables
(Serves 2 to 3)
This isn’t really much of a recipe, so feel free to substitute whatever spring vegetables you’ve got. You really can’t go wrong.
1/2 pound dried pasta (any chunky shape)
About a tablespoon of butter
1 small bulb of green garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1- to 2-inch lengths
A handful of sugar snap and/or snowpeas
A handful of shelling peas, shelled
A handful of baby kale leaves, and/or flower buds if you have kale that’s bolting
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
A splash of light cream
A handful of grated parmigiano
Salt and pepper to taste
A few chive blossoms, broken up into individual flowers, for garnish
The vegetables will cook very quickly, so put your pasta water on to boil before you do anything else. Cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, asparagus, and sugar snap/snow peas and a splash of water, and season with salt and pepper. Let these vegetables cook for 3 or 4 minutes before adding the shelled peas and kale. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still a little crisp. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and cream.
At this point the pasta should be just about done. Drain the pasta but don’t drain it too well. Leave a bit of water clinging to it. Add the pasta to the vegetables in the pan and stir in the grated cheese over low heat. Add a little more cream if you think it needs it. Sprinkle the chive blossoms over the pasta just before serving.