pasta with asparagus, peas and cherry tomatoes

How do I love thee, summer? Let me count the way.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My stomach can reach when I catch sight
Of the myriad of fruit and veggies at the market …

I was so excited to discover all the in-season produce when I hit up the neighborhood fruit and veggie market on Saturday. I may have gone a little overboard or maybe not: fresh peas, Ontario Asparagus, grape tomatoes and berries… mmm. Berries. I do have about 3 lbs. of blueberries to use up still: I see blueberry lemon scones in my future!

I decided to use most of my purchases up in one meal on Saturday night and I have to say the results were more than pleasing! After a quick Google search, I landed on a recipe by Giada Laurentiis and decided it was exactly what I needed: a simple recipe that would let the fresh ingredients shine. And that it did! This recipe definitely did not disappoint.

Pasta with asparagus, peas and cherry tomatoes
8 ounces pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.


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