It may not seem like it in parts of the country blanketed with snow. But spring is less than a week away, at least officially. (It begins Sunday.) Spring means fresh shell beans, such as favas, and English peas will be arriving at farmers’ markets and groceries. Ditto for asparagus.
Boulder, Colo., chef Hugo Matheson capitalizes on their arrival with a pasta combining fresh favas, peas and asparagus. “This is one of the dishes that customers ask for out of season; but sadly, we cannot fulfill their request,” says Matheson, co-owner and executive chef at the highly acclaimed Boulder eatery The Kitchen.
But you do have options. Matheson notes you can use one or all of the vegetables — or substitute other vegetables like broccoli and edamame. (Click here to get the recipe.)
By the way, don’t be scared off by the fact that this dish is prepared in a restaurant. “I think everything we make at The Kitchen you could cook at home,” says Matheson, who’s all about keeping dishes simple and “not messing with the ingredients too much.”
Fresh legumes, to be sure, require a little extra work in terms of removing the shell. And fresh favas also are best when their skin is removed. “Fava beans are a labor of love, but so worth it,” Matheson exclaims. His advice, if you have kids: Get them to help.
Matheson’s pasta uses the broad ribbon-shaped noodle known as papparadelle (you could substitute other pasta as well). In addition to the favas, peas and asparagus, the pasta combines garlic, fresh mint, red pepper flakes for a little heat, a little cream, Parmesan or pecorino cheese, and extra virgin olive oil.
The vegetables are cooked the same water with the pasta. They vegetables and pasta are then added to the cream-based sauce.
“This pasta is equally good with one or all of the vegetables,” Matheson notes. “I have even made it with edamame because we are very lucky to have a nearby farm that grows them.”
He’s also made it with broccoli at home for his 8-year-old twin boys. “They usually lap up this dish with whatever vegetables I put in it,” he says.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch