Pasta recipes: Laura Santini’s asparagus and peas

This is all about spring. In fact, that is exactly what Italians call this dish: primavera.

asparagus and peas
Christopher Scholey


60g unsalted butter
1 banana shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
A generous handful (about 100g) of sugar snap peas, trimmed
A bunch (about 200g) asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 2.5cm lengths
A handful (about 100g) of frozen peas, defrosted
200g dried pasta or 160g fresh pasta
2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano shavings, plus extra to serve
A handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Toss in the shallot, garlic, sugar snaps, asparagus and peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes to remove the rawness of the vegetables but still keep them vibrant and relatively crunchy. Season and set aside.
  2. When the salted water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the pasta, but keep a cup of the cooking water.
  3. Tip the pasta into the buttery vegetables, adding a tiny splash of the retained pasta-cooking water. Add the parmigiano shavings and mint and toss with gusto over a high heat until the pasta is well coated and creamy. Serve with extra freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of parmigiano shavings.

TIP Try adding shards of crispy fried prosciutto di Parma on top.

Now buy the book

pasta perfectOur recipes are from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini, which is published by Ryland, Peters & Small, price £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99 until 11 April, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.