Carrie and I don’t have any Italian lineage in our blood, but our intense love for all things Italian (especially pasta), would make you think we did. This lemon and basil-scented orecchiette is easy, light, and just the kind of pasta we crave during spring and summertime.
- 1 lb orecchiette
- 10 oz English peas
- 1 bundle asparagus,with ends trimmed, cut into two-inch pieces
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice + the zest from 1 lemon
- ⅛ cup cream
- ¼ cup grated aged parmesan
- ½ cup fresh, torn basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
*Fresh pea shoots and pancetta (or bacon) would also be delicious in this!
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Have a large colander and a large bowl with an ice water bath ready. Then blanch the asparagus and the peas together (about 3 minutes). Quickly drain them and then transfer to the ice bath to sit for about a minute, and then drain again.
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the mascarpone, cream, lemon juice and zest, parmesan, and salt. Whisk until the cheeses have melted and everything is combined. Add the asparagus, peas, and orecchiette, and basil, and stir gently with a spoon or spatula. Add more salt if necessary, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with more fresh basil.