Green, Spring Pasta (Pasta Primavera) with Asparagus, Fresh Fava, and Lemon

A very satisfying, brothy, lemony pasta that you can whip up in minutes, much like the tomato one-pot pasta. Use whatever fresh greens or vegetables you have at hand; the leftover asparagus stems give extra flavor –we like to save the tender spears and  simply grill them, instead of using them in the pasta. Fresh or frozen peas can be substituted for the fava.

You can also add parsley, tarragon, chervil or any other spring herbs you like. 



Serves 3-4


About 1/4 cup (60ml) fruity olive oil, more for drizzling


4 spring onions (scallions) –white, plus most of the green part, sliced


4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


About 1/2 pound green asparagus stems –the bottom, discarded parts of the tender spears– thinly sliced


About 1 pound fresh fava pods, cut into 2 cm (1-inch) pieces; peel the larger pods and keep only the fresh fava beans


1 cup white wine


2 ounces (360 grams) linguine or spaghetti


4 1/2 cups very hot chicken or vegetable broth or water –more, as needed


1/2 pound baby spinach leaves –keep a few for serving


3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more, to taste


About 2/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more, to taste 


Salt, to taste


About 2/3 cup grated Kefalotyri or Pecorino, more for serving 


In a deep straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat) or sauté pan warm the olive oil in medium-high heat and sauté the spring onions, tossing often, until just soft; add the garlic, turn a couple of times and add the asparagus and fresh fava. Toss and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the wine, increase the heat to high, add the pasta carefully to the pan, along with half the boiling water or broth, pushing the strands to get into the pan, and tossing so that the pasta is almost submerged and starts to boil. Add salt and pepper, and cook tossing and adding more water as needed. 



Cook for about 1 minute less than the package instructs, and add the spinach, reserving a few leaves for serving.  Toss, taste and cook more if needed, or remove from the heat if the pasta is nicely al dente.


Stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice and the cheese, taste and correct the flavor with more lemon, cheese, pepper and/or salt as needed, then divide among 3-4 bowls.

Sprinkle with more cheese, if you like, but certainly drizzle with fruity olive oil, and garnish with baby spinach leaves; serve immediately.










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