Asparagus Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Asparagus season is quickly coming to an end here in Colorado. I find that asparagus is one vegetable I insist on eating only in season. Other vegetables I often let slide and eat a few here and there. Corn and asparagus are two I refuse to buy off season, though from somewhere, we seem to have them available all year round!

Until last month, I had never tried a truly, local grown asparagus. Let me tell you in one word, wow. In Texas, I shopped from a local farm but they didn’t grow asparagus. I don’t know if asparagus can be grown in Texas! This farm had Southern specialities like all kinds of fresh beans, fried pies and then your usual farm fare.

Pasta Primavera

So, as long as local, Colorado grown asparagus is available, I’ve been rushing to the farm every week piling up on the grassy goodness. I have never tasted asparagus this sweet and perfect. Store bought asparagus is absolutely no comparison. 

My most recent visit, I grabbed two bunches of perfectly, green, crisp asparagus spears. I had no idea what was planned for these beauties but I knew they would be the highlight of my dish.

Pasta Primavera is one of my favourite springtime dishes. It’s substantial enough for lunch and dinner, versatile enough to use up what you have in the fridge and light enough to not bog you down in the warmer months. 

Pasta Primavera

I loaded up the pasta with the fresh asparagus, a light tomato cream broth and a handful of spinach. Asparagus Pasta Primavera is the perfect dish to highlight the sweet and tender asparagus against the neutral pasta. It is so good. If you can still get some asparagus, make this!

I used whole tomatoes in this dish because I had a bowl of organic tomatoes that urgently needed to be used up. I, usually, like cherry or grape tomatoes in my primavera. I like how they heat up, pop and release just the right amount of juice; mixed with the olive oil, garlic and a drop of cream and a splash of pasta water, it makes a perfect sauce. 

Pasta Primavera

Homemade pasta would be the ideal pasta to use here but since my husband left my pasta machine behind in Texas, I used dry pasta. I haven’t bought another machine as yet, because I know when I do, there’ll be no stopping me. I have a weakness for pasta. But, I have lived four years without one, I think it’s time. I have a birthday this week and I am thinking of asking one for my gift 🙂 Better start dropping those hints 😉

I blanched my asparagus in salted water because I wanted the green colour intact, but you are welcome to just sauté them and build your sauce from there. Also, this pasta dish is vegetarian, but I’ve made many primaveras with chicken or sliced sausage; so good. Great thing here is; you don’t need a lot of meat because it is vegetable heavy.

Asparagus Pasta Primavera

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Spring recipe highlighting fresh asparagus tossed with pasta in a light tomato cream sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound/500g pasta, any shape
  • 2 pounds/1kg fresh asparagus
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 4 cups fresh, baby spinach leaves
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs of choice, basil, parsley, mint
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pasta water from boiling the pasta
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling some water in a big pot to blanch the asparagus.
  2. If you want to just sauté the asparagus instead, then skip the blanching step.
  3. When the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt, and add the asparagus.
  4. Simmer for no more than 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from the boiling water onto a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.
  6. Cool down the asparagus.
  7. Chop the asparagus in medium bite size pieces.
  8. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic.
  9. Let cook for a minute and then add the cherry tomatoes, or chopped whole tomatoes.
  10. Let the cherry tomatoes cook and pop and release their juice.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, pulling them off one minutes shy of being done.
  13. Drain the pasta reserving a cup of pasta water.
  14. Add the coked pasta to the tomato sauce in the pan.
  15. Toss around and add a bit of water if needed.
  16. Add the asparagus, the spinach, herbs and heavy cream, if using.
  17. Toss until the pasta is cooked and coated with the light sauce.
  18. Add as much pasta water is needed to loosen the pasta.
  19. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss through and serve.

Pasta Primavera

I hope everyone has been enjoying the lovely summery days we’ve been having. I have to say though, it’s getting a little too hot, a little too quickly! Last few days in Denver have been very hot. I don’t do hot. I envy all the Southern Hemi people enjoying autumn.

I’ve been trying to make my rounds and catch up with my blog reading but it’s been slow going. I haven’t forgotten you! I am just moving so slow that it takes me twice as long to do anything which means I have no time left at bedtime to catch up on my reading! Imagine how long it’s taking me at the grocery store! So, I’ll be by to see you all.

This week has been hectic all around with the kids last week at school and all their activities. I have to say that they made me proud. After all the screaming I do during term time, and all the non listening they do, I am surprised they finished the school year like they did. My eldest daughter finished her first year in college with an all A report card, my second daughter finished 11th Grade with a 4.0 GPA and my youngest daughter graduated 8th Grade with Excellence in all classes, I am chuffed (#proudmama). As for Laith, well I’m just happy he got up everyday for school and made it there on time!

Have a great week, y’all!

  1. Wonderful dish! I love that it isn’t cream and cheese heavy, thus making the pasta and vegetables the true stars of this dish. Unfortunately I haven’t been lucky enough to try locally grown asparagus, and the kind I find at the grocery store just tastes so blah. iA once I get back home I’ll look out for some that are locally grown!
    And happy belated birthday! Anddd congratulations on your children’s accomplishments! There truly is no better gift for a mother whose children are succeeding 🙂
    Henna recently posted..Browned Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  2. Such a beautiful, vibrant dish Nazneen – the good thing about asparagus here is that when it’s not in season you can’t actually buy it. Not like in France where it was shipped in from the giant plastic growing tunnels in Israel or Spain year-round. So like you I only get it in season, and I would certainly never buy tinned asparagus – bleurgh!
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  3. I love asparagus and look forward to the big fat stalks of spring. I’ll eat it the rest of the year, but when it’s fresh and local and just picked it’s sweeter than the regular asparagus you can get shipped in from anywhere the rest of the year. GREG

  4. Nazneen, so glad to hear that your children did so tremendously well in school – you must be very proud indeed!
    As far as your pasta primavera is concerned, it looks absolutely wonderful – a true delight on a plate. Local asparagus is just the best!
    Hope you a had a great birthday and most of all that you are feeling much better very soon!
    Take good care of yourself!
    Hugs,
    Andrea
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  5. Exactly as you, I eat asparagus just in season, even though I love them, no metter where. Your pasta looks really yummy, as you can immagine my pasta recipes, according to Italian tradition, are really classic, but I’m really curious about new and original recipes! Thanks for sharing, hope you’re well. Have a great we!
    Margherita@lapetitecasserole recently posted..Black rice with salmon tartarMy Profile

  6. What a proud mama you should be! Now I don’t feel bad with all my nagging and carrying on during the year to get the kids doing what they need to be doing. One day they will appreciate all that carrying on. Well I hope so, don’t you think? This is one grab eye gorgeous dish Nanzeen. Love those colorful vegetables. I love these kind of comfort dishes. Just pinned!
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  7. Nazneen you are tempting me 🙂
    I miss tasting and eating asparagus, to the contrary to what I used to think about the veggie as a kid. Nothing beats fresh seasonal asparagus and a pasta dish of it is even better.

  8. There’s really nothing like local asparagus, is there? I always do buy some of the asparagus imported from Peru right at the beginning of the season — because I’m so craving it! — but you’re right it doesn’t compare. Anyway, great dish — asparagus works so well in pasta. You definitely need another pasta machine. I don’t use mine every week, but I do use it a lot. Good stuff — thanks.
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  9. I agree with you about in-season. I feel the same way about asparagus, corn, mangos and most stone fruit and berries. Thankfully where we live things can be grown nearly all year so it’s only mangoes and asparagus I have to wait a long time for.
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  10. Congrats to you in that all your children are a credit to you as they’re all achieving well. Unlike you though, I love the heat and it’s never too hot for me. I’m currently sitting in front of the gas heater and would much prefer a warm summer’s night with the windows open and a lovely breeze wafting through the windows. I do agree with you though, that asparagus should truly only be eaten when in season. And your primavera pasta looks very fresh, vibrant and wonderful xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Balmoral Burn, 2014My Profile

  11. I’m with you with asparagus – if it’s in the shops and locally grown I can’t resist it. I have a pasta machine I’ve moved all around the world with me and I might have used it only a handful of times – it’s a shame we’re not closer:)
    nancy@jamjnr recently posted..In My Kitchen June 2014My Profile

    • Thank you, Denise! I think the girls would like it because it’s pretty mild and sweet mixed with pasta. Let me know what they think!

  12. Totally scrumptious supper, love your take on pasta primavera and just loving the asparagus season right now! I’m hoping there’s a few weeks of it left here in the UK. Congrats on your kids’ excellent end-of-year results and achievements and many happy returns for your special day 🙂

    • Thank you Danielle for your lovely comment! I knows the UK goes crazy over asparagus season, I hope you get your fill before it disappears.

  13. Oh, wow! Everything about this post is awesome … from the utterly gorgeous recipe (I’m a pasta fanatic, too!) to the potential of a birthday-gift-pasta-machine, to the end of an uber-successful school year! So great all around! But getting back to this pasta for just a minute … I’m 100% in love with the beautiful simplicity! Such a perfect way to embrace asparagus season! Thanks for the lovely inspiration to kick-start my day (so hungry now!)! Hope you birthday is wonderful (and I am soooooo looking forward to some fresh pasta recipes soon – lol)! 😀
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