Peas, pasta and asparagus

A lighter version of a classic carbonara pasta for spring. Use Orecchiete (little ear pasta or other small shaped dry pasta)


16 oz Orecchiette pasta

4 quarts water



2 cups fresh English peas or use frozen

2 cups snow peas or sugar peas

1 cup asparagus , cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion- diced

4 garlic cloves, rough chopped


8–12 oz mushrooms sliced or quartered — cremini, shiitake, buttons

2 cups arugula (or chard or spinach), chopped

generous pinch salt and fresh pepper

2 eggs, whisked

½ cup parmesan or pecorino

1 ball burrata cheese  (optional but delicious)


lemon zest from one small lemon

1/4–1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs: mint, basil, dill, or Italian parsley or a blend.


Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot with 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook to al dente, about 7 minutes (or see directions on package). During the last minute of cooking the pasta, add the fresh peas, sugar peas and asparagus tips to the boiling pasta, turn the heat up to high and quickly blanch for one minute. Drain the pasta and veggies (reserving 1-2 cups hot pasta water). Do not rinse. Return to the pot, turn heat off.

While the pasta is cooling, sauté the mushrooms: In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until tender and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until golden and tender, 7-8 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add greens and sauté, stirring often until just wilted. Set pan aside.

Whisk two eggs in a small bowl, set aside.


Temper the eggs. Once the pasta is drained and back in the pot, gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved hot pasta water, one tablespoon at a time into the eggs, to temper the eggs (to warm them up gently so they don’t curdle). Stir well.

COMBINE: Pour tempered eggs over the pasta and, with a big wooden spoon, gently stir to coat the pasta. Stir in the mushrooms, half of the lemon zest and half of the fresh herbs, cracked pepper and parmesan, adding more hot pasta water as needed to loosen the pasta, and make it “saucy.” You don’t want this dry. I usually add a cup or more.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Place on a platter or bowl and sprinkle with remaining herbs, lemon zest. Dot with dollops of burrata cheese.

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