Spring warmth brings the first farm-fresh vegetables, and some of the year's best at that. Pair vegetables with pasta for simple and delicious dinners that celebrate this lovely season.
Pasta makes an ideal partner for the lightest, most delicately flavored veggies of the year. These dishes showcase fresh,
vibrant items like snappy green peas, earthy asparagus, peppery radishes, sweet spring onions, and nutty fava beans. The job
of the noodles is to make them a substantial, but never heavy, meal. It's also fitting to celebrate the season's produce bounty
with pasta that's just as varied: tidy farfalle bow ties and fluted garganelli tubes; long, hollow bucatini noodles and broad,
elegant pappardelle ribbons. We chose dried pastas, rather than fresh—they're pantry-friendly and offer a more satisfying
chew when cooked al dente.
Most of these recipes are vegetarian, but they're easily transformed for seafood or meat eaters by adding some sautéed shrimp or even a little crumbled bacon.
Spring onions are those that have been harvested early—they look like scallions with large white bulbs. If they're unavailable,
use Vidalia onions. Rotini (corkscrew pasta) will work in place of fusilli.
View Recipe: Fusilli with Caramelized Spring Onions and White Wine
Use frozen, thawed green peas if fresh are unavailable. Linguine can substitute for bucatini, which is a thick, spaghetti-like
pasta with a hollow center.
View Recipe: Bucatini with Green Peas and Pancetta
Lemony dressing and fresh mint add vibrant flavor to this pasta salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature, and garnish with
pretty mint leaves, if desired.
View Recipe: Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel
Fettuccine will also work if you can't find pappardelle. Have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before beginning
to cook—the pasta needs to be hot when mixed with the other ingredients to create a creamy consistency.
View Recipe: Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs, and Ricotta
Pasta laced with rich, salty cheese puts springtime's bright green jewels on full display. Substitute penne if garganelli
View Recipe: Garganelli with Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
You can also use shiitake mushrooms and edamame, good year-round alternatives to morels and fava beans.
View Recipe: Farfalle with Fava Beans, Morel Mushrooms, and Mascarpone
Seek out the freshest produce you can find. The success of simple dishes depends on the quality of their ingredients.
View Recipe: Spring Linguine with Basil
A few of spring's finest ingredients star in this light and satisfying pasta. Serve with a leafy salad for a a well-rounded
View Recipe: Pasta with Artichokes and Fresh Ricotta
Hand-shaped pasta is complemented by fresh spring morels, fresh herbs, and truffle oil. It makes for one decidely rustic,
yet divine, springtime meal.
View Recipe: Makaruni Pasta with Morel Mushroom Sauce
This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc,
or rosé such as the recommended variety on the next slide. Top off the dish with a garlic-Parmesan breadstick and you will
have a winning springtime meal.
View Recipe: Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts
The wait for weather warm enough to crack open a bottle of rosé has always been a difficult one. By the time the birds start
chirping, we're up to our eyeballs in pink.
Rosés come in styles that range from light and dry to full and fruity. And when they are from Spain, all the better. These spring pasta dishes beg for a full, tropical fruit-laden rosé from Bodegas Muga, Rioja Rosé, 2009 ($13). It has elegant, fresh citrus flavors and laid-back herbal notes.