Active Time
N/A
Total Time
35 MIN
Yield
Serves : 4

If standard boxed pasta is your go-to move for easy weeknight dinners, it’s time to take your game to the next level. Artisanal dried pastas are now common on grocery store shelves and are well worth the switch. Extruded through bronze dies, they have a rough, textured surface that helps sauces cling to the pasta. As an added bonus, the starches that are cast off into the salty pasta cooking water become the foundation for a number of elegant pan sauces.     Learning to use pasta cooking liquid to finish the sauce is essential—the dissolved starch in the water thickens the sauce while suspending the fat in a creamy emulsion that clings to the noodles. For the best result, we love artisanal pastas like Pastaio via Corta, Rustichella d’Abruzzo, Martelli, and Seggiano. Each of these companies extrudes their pastas through bronze dies and makes their doughs from 100 percent durum semolina wheat, creating a rougher texture that helps the sauce cling to the noodle.     This Pasta Primavera is buttery and rich but still feels light from the lemon zest and fresh herbs—it’s the perfect dish to make after a visit to your local farmers market. The colorful play of spring vegetables makes it as pleasing to the eyes as it is to your palate; if you’re lucky enough to find beautiful red or purple carrots, add them after cooking to keep from giving your pasta dish a blushing hue.     If it’s your first time making a pasta sauce from scratch, or you want a little help refining your technique, be sure to watch the video above, or read our recipe walkthrough with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos. With this recipe in your back pocket and our handful of helpful hints and tricks, you’ll be a pasta pro in no time.

How to Make It

Step 1    

Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into very thin ribbons to equal 1 cup. Shave the purple carrots (from multicolored carrots) into very thin ribbons to equal 1/2 cup. Shave remaining carrots into very thin ribbons to equal 1/2 cup. (Reserve remaining asparagus and carrots for another use.) Set aside.

Step 2    

Cook pasta in a pot according to master technique (until very al dente, about 3 minutes shorter than package directions call for).

Step 3    

While pasta cooks, place purple carrot ribbons in a fine wire-mesh strainer. Lower strainer into boiling water with pasta, and cook carrots until tender, about 20 seconds. Remove strainer; drain carrots, and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water; let come to a simmer. Gradually whisk in 5 tablespoons butter, one piece at a time, waiting until butter is nearly melted before adding the next piece. Stir in salt.

Step 4    

Using tongs, lift cooked pasta from pot and transfer to skillet, reserving cooking liquid in pot. Increase heat under skillet to medium-high. Add snap peas, asparagus ribbons, uncooked carrot ribbons (do not add purple carrot ribbons), and remaining 6 tablespoons butter; cook, stirring and shaking skillet constantly, adding 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid at a time, until a creamy sauce forms and clings to pasta, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5    

Remove skillet from heat. Add pea shoots, cheese, chives, tarragon, and lemon zest and juice, stirring constantly until thoroughly combined and cheese is melted. (Add a little more cooking liquid if necessary to maintain a creamy consistency.)

Step 6    

Remove skillet from heat. Add pea shoots, cheese, chives, tarragon, and lemon zest and juice, stirring constantly until thoroughly combined and cheese is melted. (Add a little more cooking liquid if necessary to maintain a creamy consistency.)

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, citrusy Italian Vermentino.

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