Farfalle with Asparagus, Peas, and Herbs
With the shadow of winter slowly fading, why not celebrate the arrival of spring with a delicious dish? Today, we are assuming that you’re a fan of farfalle, asparagus, leeks, peas, and fresh herbs, as these fellas are teaming up to bring you veggie-&-carbo-loaded goodness.
When selecting your asparagus friends, look for firm, crisp stalks with tight, fully-closed budding tips. Most grocers stock asparagus (pun intended), but the freshest and therefore-tastiest asparagus is picked at the peak of freshness. If you have the time to investigate your local farmer’s market, that is a tried and true way of finding the freshest produce whilst simultaneously breathing in that crisp end-of-season air. A simple rule of thumb: fresher produce = tastier meals
In a large pot, bring 5 qts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes. Using a stainless steel strainer, scoop the asparagus to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Strain and add to the asparagus. Drain the asparagus and peas in a colander. Set aside. Reserve the water in the pot and return to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook al dente, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the pasta.
While the farfalle is cooking, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the leeks and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the spinach, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and peas, then stir in the cashew cream and warm until hot, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the drained farfalle to the skillet and bring the heat to high. Add a bit of the cooking water at a time, stirring constantly, until the farfalle has finished cooking and a creamy sauce is made. Add the mint and parsley. Serve warm with lemon parmesan.
To make Cashew Cream – Blend 1 cup raw cashew pieces and 1 cup of water in a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Add a little extra water one tbsp at a time if you’re having trouble getting the cashews silky smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup for this recipe and transfer the remaining cashew cream to a lidded jar. Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days or freeze.
To make Lemon Almond Parmesan – Place ingredients in a small jar. Mix until combined. Store in a jar in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
- 1 cup fresh shelled peas
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and pale green part only, washed well and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 oz baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup cashew cream, recipe follows
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lb farfalle
LEMON ALMOND PARMESAN
- 1 cup blanched almond meal
- ¼ cup nutrional yeast
- 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp sea salt