Spring, is that you? Is that you peeping past the clouds and whispering in our ears with each faint breeze? I sure as heck hope so because I am done with winter. We all are. I’m ready to spend days out of doors again, walking around Brooklyn, grazing on little nibblies from food trucks and stopping for mimosas or pitchers of beer at bars with back patios. I love my cozy apartment but I’m ready to put the oversized sweater I wear at least once a week away now. I’m ready to frolic. I’m ready for sunshine.
And I’m ready for spring vegetables.
Luckily for me, though spring weather isn’t quite here yet, the vegetables are. Namely, asparagus.
My favorite preparation of asparagus is simply roasted or grilled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Maybe add a grating of parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon, but all I really need are those charred tops.
I’m not the only one rejoicing in the name of affordable asparagus. I’m dying to drizzle is with balsamic, crust it with pistachios, douse it with brown butter, drown it in prosecco (?!), and shave it in a salad.
But for now, I’ll toss it in orecchiette with peas, sausage, and fresh ricotta.
In a seasonally appropriate blog post, these photos would be dappled with promising sunlight coming through my apartment window. But guess what. On Sunday, I spent the day walking around outside and stopping for warm weather cocktails with my friend, because it was kinda warm. So I sacrificed lighting for food photos to get sunlight on my face. But I got tulips to make up for it! That counts for something, right?
Spring Orecchiette with Asparagus, Peas, Sausage, & Ricotta
Serves: 4-6 people
1 pound orecchiette pasta
1 ½ cups ricotta (I like fresh, but store-bought works too.)
¾ cup frozen peas (or fresh if you can find them!)
¾ lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
4 chicken sausages, sliced
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup of reserved pasta water
Freshly ground black pepper
Parsley, to serve
Parmesan, to serve
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sausages and cook until they are evenly browned. Reserve the sausage in a bowl or plate on the side while the vegetables cook.
- Add the rest of the olive oil to the sauté pan, followed by the peas and asparagus, then the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and turn the burner to low heat.
- Once the water is boiling, salt heavily and add the pasta. Cook according to the packaging, testing after a few minutes to see if the pasta is al dente.
- Reserve half a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Add the pasta to a serving bowl and add the ricotta. Mix around until evenly distributed, adding pasta water as you go to loosen the ricotta up. Add the sausage and vegetables. Pour the lemon juice evenly over the top, followed by the zest.
- Mix everything together, top with chopped parsley and a grating of Parmesan, and tuck in for a delightfully fresh pasta.