PASTA with ASPARAGUS, PEAS, ARUGULA & PROSCIUTTO

This is adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.  I changed a few ingredients and used an epicurious reviewer’s comments to change up and simplify the order of cooking.  A lovely late spring dish that even my meat loving husband and (currently) anti-asparagus daughter loved.  Read recently that unless you are shelling peas yourself, they’ll be less starchy and sweeter if you use frozen, so that’s what I did.

Note:  This is a recipe where getting everything chopped ahead is important.  Also a pasta pot where you can remove the pasta without draining the water is useful, or some other way to scoop out the pasta (I used tongs with the capellini).

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons EVOO

½ lb. spring onions, white & pale green parts only, sliced thin

1 large shallot, minced

salt & pepper

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 lb. thin asparagus, tough ends removed, sliced crosswise in ¾” pieces

2 cups frozen or very freshly shelled peas

8 – 12 oz. pasta (capellini, shell, or campanelle – trumpet shaped) pasta

1 large bunch arugula, roughly chopped

1 cup, plus more to garnish, finely grated Parmesan

½ cup parsley, chopped

2 – 4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced and then chopped (optional)

Start salted water boiling in large pot.  In a very large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat.  Add onions and shallot, sprinkle them with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until tender but not brown.  Add wine, increase heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced and glaze-like, about 3 minutes.  Add broth and bring to simmer, then keep warm.

Once water is ready, cook pasta according to directions, al dente.  Scoop out pasta (see Note above) and add to onion/stock/wine mixture, stirring occasionally over low heat.  This allows the pasta to soak up the flavors.  With a liquid measuring cup, scoop out about ½ cup of the pasta water and reserve.  Keeping the water boiling, add the asparagus and peas and cook for 2 minutes.  Strain vegetables and fold into pasta mixture, along with arugula, parmesan, parsley and prosciutto if using.  Pasta will have soaked up most of the liquid at this point, so add the pasta water if it is too dry for you.

Serve immediately with extra parmesan.  Great left over, reheated in a sauté pan with a little extra stock if you have it.

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