This Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas is the perfect mid week meal for spring. Tagliatelle tossed in a light sauce filled with fresh spring vegetables and herbs. Serve it with a fresh salad and homemade Garlic Knots for a complete dinner.
Okay, we are officially in the transition stage of dinners. I am slowly shifting out of the comforting dinners and into lighter dinners, barbecues and salads. And the great thing about pasta dishes is that they can be comforting and light and fresh all at the same time. This Pasta Primavera with Asparagus is light and perfect for spring. I have another Pasta Primavera dish on the blog that’s a little heavier with more cream, butter and cheese…ha!
What Makes This Dish Great
- Healthier – this dish a healthier version of my original pasta primavera and comes in under 500 calories per serving.
- Quick and easy – from start to finish, this dinner will be on the table in 30 minutes. Perfect for busy days.
- Uses easy ingredients – This dish uses pretty basic ingredients that are easy to find in the supermarket.
- Tasty – it’s light and fresh and perfect for spring! This is not a saucy dish, it’s just lightly coated in sauce and fresh flavours.
- Vegetables – Fresh asparagus, frozen green peas and yellow onion. I used thin stemmed asparagus but you could use thick asparagus as well.
- Herbs – I used fresh parsley and chives but you could use any fresh herbs that you prefer or have on hand.
- Dairy and fats – I used a combination of butter and olive oil to cook the onions. I used creme fraiche to make the sauce and a small amount of parmesan cheese to top the dish.
- Pasta – this dish uses tagliatelle but you could use parpadelle if you like.
- Seasonings – I just used salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
REMEMBER, The full recipe and instructions can be found at the end of the post in the recipe card.
- Steam vegetables – Set a colander over a pot of steaming water and add the chopped asparagus. After about 5 minutes, add the peas and steam for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cook pasta – Cook tagliatelle in boiling water for about 8 – 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Reserve about 1cup/240 ml of pasta water.
- Cook onions – While the vegetables are cooking, add butter and olive oil to a large deep sided skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee for about 5 minutes until golden.
- Make the sauce – Reduce heat to low and add the creme fraiche to the onions and stir really well so the creme fraiche doesn’t split. Add about 2/3 cups of pasta water and continue to stir well.
- Assemble the pasta dish – Add the herbs, vegetables, salt and pepper to the sauce and stir well. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.
- Time saving – This dish comes together in 20 minutes once you have everything prepared. BUT, it requires to get different parts of this dish ready at the same time. I like to do all three parts of this dish at the same time, so everything is ready to assemble once it’s freshly cooked. The three parts are cooking the pasta, steaming the vegetables and making the sauce. They can all be done at the same time.
- Trimming asparagus – It’s important to cut off the woody ends of the asparagus. This is the opposite end of the spear. They are generally a white to brown colour and are firmer. They need to be trimmed because they won’t soften as much as the rest of the asparagus. I recently posted a recipe for Easy Parmesan Roasted Asparagus where you can read all about asparagus.
- Preventing creme fraiche from curdling – Reduce the heat of the pan before adding creme fraiche. If the pan is too hot, the creme fraiche will curdle. As soon as you pour in the creme fraiche, whisk immediately and fast. This will help it heat evenly and prevent curdling. If it does curdle, instantly remove it from the heat and maybe add a few tablespoons of cream (or even water) and whisk to help even out the sauce.
- Asparagus – I used fresh seasonal asparagus for this dish. If you can’t get your hands on fresh asparagus, you can use frozen. Just keep in mind the frozen kind will be softer and sometimes even a little mushy. You could use fresh broccoli if you prefer.
- Frozen peas – these worked really well in this recipe and I highly recommend them. They added a nice sweetness to the dish. You could use fresh peas. If using fresh, you will have to steam them for about 3 – 5 minutes longer.
- Tagliatelle – this wide pasta works wonderfully with this dish. Parpadelle would also work well with this light sauce and large pieces of vegetables.
- Creme fraiche – If you are unfamiliar with creme fraiche and/or can’t find it, you can use heavy cream for this recipe. Just use exactly the same amount and cook it in the same way.
- Herbs – I used a combination of fresh parsley and chives. Feel free to add whatever herbs you like or have on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Primavera in Italian means spring. So essentially this is a Spring Pasta dish.
You can use any seasonal vegetables in Pasta Primavera. I chose to use just asparagus and peas in this dish for their freshness. You can use bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes and so much more.
Crème fraîche is cream that’s had a culture added, making it slightly sour in flavour. It’s around 40 percent fat and it’s thicker than heavy cream.
Heavy cream is a cooking cream that has about 36 percent fat.
Double cream has a higher fat content, usually close to 50 percent.
Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas
- 1 lb asparagus ends trimmed and cut into thirds
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 small onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 10 oz tagliatelle
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- small bunch fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
- Set a colander over a pot of steaming water and add the chopped asparagus. After about 5 minutes, add the peas and steam for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cook tagliatelle in boiling water for about 8 – 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Reserve about 1cup/240 ml of pasta water.
- While the vegetables are cooking, add butter and olive oil to a large deep sided skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee for about 5 minutes until golden.
- Reduce heat to low and add the creme fraiche to the onions and stir really well so the creme fraiche doesn't split. Add about 2/3 cups of pasta water and continue to stir well.
- Add the herbs, vegetables, salt and pepper to the sauce and stir well. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.