Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Peas

Fresh peas in the shell

I especially like this sprightly pasta salad made with orecchiette (“little ears”), a small, delicate pasta. Use very slender asparagus and you won’t need to scrape the stalks.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 8 ounces orecchiette, tri-color rotini, or gemelli
  • 8 ounces slender asparagus
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas, lightly steamed
  • One 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.

Meanwhile, trim 1/2 inch from the bottoms of the asparagus spears, and cut them into approximately 1l/2-inch lengths. Steam in a large saucepan with a small amount of water until bright green and tender-crisp, then drain and rinse until cool.

Combine the cooked pasta, asparagus, and peas with the remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl. Toss gently but thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until needed, or serve at once.

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