This quintessential spring pasta, brimming with fresh seasonal herbs such as mint, parsley and tarragon, works hot, cold or at room temperature as a side dish or entrée.
1 lb whole-grain fusilli, penne or orecchiette pasta
12 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 cup peeled and diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup goat cheese (about 4 oz), crumbled (NOTE: Don’t use pre-crumbled goat cheese – it doesn’t melt as well.)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste (TRY: Eden French Sea Salt - Fine Grind)
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. About 2 minutes before pasta is done, add asparagus, carrots and peas and continue to cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine chives, mint, parsley and tarragon. Set aside.
Drain pasta and vegetables, reserving about 1 cup cooking water in a heatproof cup. Return pasta and vegetables to pot and stir in cheese, oil, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, three-quarters of herb mixture, half of lemon zest and 1/2 cup cooking water. Add additional salt, pepper and cooking water as desired.
Garnish with remaining one-quarter of herb mixture and remaining half of lemon zest. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
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