I adore spring. I love the positive vibe that spring brings with it. Warmer days, bright sunshine, beautiful flowers and those scrumptious spring veggies. I can’t help but think about Mr. McGregor in his garden tending to those tender carrots and peas. Ahhhh, I would love to have a nice English garden to look after during the spring.
When the days get longer I start to crave lighter dishes full of bright colors and flavor. I also want easy-to-make and easy-to-clean as well. This pasta dish comes together in a snap, it’s healthy and your family is going to fall in love with its bright fresh flavors.
To get started you need to gather your ingredients together because this dish comes together really quickly. Wash and prepare your ingredients. Cube the ham, thinly slice the onion, wash and trim your asparagus then cut it into 1 1/2 2-inch pieces. Get a large bowl of ice water ready. Squeeze your lemon juice and remove any seeds. Set everything aside.
Set a large pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, blanch your asparagus. You do this by placing your asparagus in the boiling water for just a few seconds and then quickly removing it with a slotted spoon and placing in a bowl of ice water or ice bath. This rapidly stops the cooking of the veggies. If you’re using fresh peas you will want to blanch them as well. This will help your veggies stay nice and bright in the pasta and not get overcooked.
Once you’re finished blanching your veggies, bring the water back to a boil and add your pasta. Cook according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, place another large pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add your olive oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add your cubed ham and cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add the onion and cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 1/3 cup of pasta water to the pan and let cook for 1 minute.
Add lemon juice and cook for another minute. Add frozen peas and asparagus to the pan. Let cook for 1 more minute.
Drain pasta and add to the pan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add 1 cup of the parmesan cheese and mix well.
Garnish with some fresh parmesan on top, serve immediately with a nice crusty bread.