There’s nothing I love more than incorporating seasonal veggies into my meals. This pasta with asparagus, peas, and fava beans is a comforting, spring dinner you can whip up in 30 minutes, for any day of the week.
Pasta with Asparagus, Peas, and Fava Beans
In my home, pasta is always a go-to. More than just being a quick and easy food to whip up, pasta tends to be the perfect accompaniment to a variety of ingredients.
Whether it’s mixing in fresh spinach like I did in my sun-dried tomato pasta, or asparagus and fava beans like I’ve done here, it’s easy to enjoy different veggies for dinner when you’re stirring them into pasta.
While you’ve probably cooked with asparagus before, fava beans may be new to your kitchen. Fava beans are bright, green-colored beans that have the texture of chickpeas when they’ve been cooked. They’re an excellent source of protein, so they’ll make the pasta feel filling too.
To make this pasta with asparagus, peas, and fava beans, you’ll want to start out by cooking some pancetta in a pan until it’s slightly browned and some fat has been rendered. This step will serve as the basis for some fantastic flavor in this pasta recipe.
After that, onion and garlic are sautéed, then asparagus is added and cooked until tender. Frozen (and peeled) fava beans and peas are added to the pan, along with a little bit of cream, grated parmesan, and of course the cooked pasta itself.
The finishing touch to this pasta with asparagus, peas and fava beans is some more grated parmesan, as well as some fresh watercress leaves. The fresh herb and veggies really balance out the little bit of cheese and cream that’s added to the dish. They make the pasta feel light and spring-like, which is exactly what I love about this recipe.
- 1/2 lb. pasta
- 4 oz. diced pancetta
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 heaping cup frozen and peeled fava beans
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup fresh watercress, stems removed
- salt , optional/to taste
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In the meanwhile, cut up your onion, garlic, and the fresh asparagus. Cut off the asparagus's tough ends (the wide, thick end; not the pointed end). Then cut the asparagus into 1" long pieces.
- Once the pasta water has come to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and add the pasta in. Cook according to the package instructions, or until tender.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large pan over high heat. Once hot, add the pancetta in and lower the heat to medium. Cook the pancetta for a couple of minutes until they're beginning to brown and some fat has been rendered.
- Add in the onion; sauté until translucent. Then add the garlic and give it a quick stir for 30 seconds. Finally, add the asparagus and cook for another few minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still has a crunch.
- When the pasta has finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of cooked pasta water, then drain the pasta. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan with your asparagus, in addition to the heavy cream, fava beans, and peas.
- Allow the liquid in the pan to come to a simmer over medium-low heat, cooking the pan ingredients for another few minutes. If the liquid reduces too much at any point, you can add some more of the reserved pasta water.
- Once the fava beans are tender, add the pasta into the pan, along with the grated parmesan and some freshly ground pepper. Taste test for salt, and add any if desired.
- Before serving, add some more grated parmesan on top, in addition to the fresh watercress leaves.