Even though we are in the heat of Summer, we still love having pasta for dinner. I do like to make it a bit lighter though so the dish isn’t so heavy. This Roasted Asparagus & Pea Casarecce is the perfect light and delicious Summer pasta dinner. Filled with roasted asparagus and green peas, this delicious dish is finished off with Grana Padano cheese for a light and earthy flavor.
I used casarecce pasta for this particular recipe, but any small pasta or noodle will do. Casarecce is shorter in length and is more of a free-form shape. They are rolled and twisted into an “S” shape, which is not only fun but great for holding onto sauce and cheese. I love the look of this particular shape alongside the roasted asparagus spears, especially with the pop of bright green from the peas.
The sauce for this pasta is pretty simple and is comprised of mostly olive oil and cheese. I make sure to add in a bit of pasta cooking water as well. This helps bind everything together and is a definite must for any pasta sauce. Since it is such a simple sauce, I recommend using a good olive oil. This helps the flavor of the sauce really pop and highlight the earthy flavor of the dish. The Grana Padano finishes this dish off splendidly by adding the perfect amount of salt and also gives the sauce the perfect creamy texture. Make sure you grate extra cheese to garnish the top…because really, can you ever have enough?
Roasted Asparagus & Pea Casarecce
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 oz casarecce pasta
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim the bottom ends off the asparagus and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Roast asparagus in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until tender. Cut roasted asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
- In a large saute pan, heat remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic in oil for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
- Add in peas and roasted asparagus and cook until heated through. Add in reserved pasta water and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until ingredients are combined and heated through.
- Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve pasta with extra cheese grated on top.
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