Pasta with peas and prosciutto is the perfect spring meal. Fresh asparagus, mushrooms, a splash of crisp white wine, salty Parmesan shavings, and a few slices of savory prosciutto complete the 30-minute meal.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a rapid boil. Add pasta and cook 9 minutes. Add asparagus and peas and cook 3 minutes longer, 12 minutes total. Drain and do not rinse.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the large skillet over medium-high heat and heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add mushrooms to skillet and a pinch of salt and cook until all water had been released, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and wine (if using), scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cream and Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted.
Stir in pasta, asparagus, and peas, butter, and prosciutto, and toss until uniformly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish individual servings with additional Parmesan cheese and chives.
Penne: Farfalle (AKA bowtie), rotini, campanelle, gemelli, cellentani, or any short-cut pasta will also work. Orecchiette is also ideal for catching the peas and sauce.
Asparagus: To trim, simply line up the spears in a row on a cutting board, then use a knife to cut where the stalks change in color from white to green. This removes the woody, tough-to-chew ends.
Frozen peas: If you're lucky enough to have access to fresh peas, this pasta recipe is a great vehicle.
Prosciutto: I love the naturally-thin slices and the cured flavor prosciutto provides in this pasta recipe, but you can swap in bacon or pancetta if desired.
Mushrooms: Can't find baby portobellos? Try white button mushrooms instead.
Dry white wine: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc all taste incredible. Substitute with more chicken broth if you prefer to omit the wine.
Yield: This recipe makes 8 veggie-packed servings with 2 ounces of pasta each.
Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Make ahead: The pasta and asparagus can be cooked the day before. Store covered in the refrigerator (it's okay to package them together). The vegetables and herbs can also be prepped 1 day ahead.
Primavera: For a similar meat-free entree, try Pasta Primavera. It has the same cream sauce and a lovely mix of vegetables including carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini.