This classic pasta dish is filled with the seasonal vegetables of spring (primavera means spring in Italian) — think vibrant, grassy asparagus, nutty broad beans and sweet green peas, all bound together with a light creamy sauce.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) dried fettuccine or
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) fresh fettuccine
155 g (51?2 oz) asparagus spears
155 g (51?2 oz/1 cup) fresh (or frozen) broad (fava) beans
30 g (1 oz) butter
1 celery stalk, sliced
155 g (51?2 oz/1 cup) shelled fresh peas
310 ml (103 ?4 fl oz/11?4 cups) thin (pouring) cream
50 g (13 ?4 oz/1?2 cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
1 Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
2 Meanwhile, cut the asparagus into small pieces. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus from the pan and plunge into a bowl of iced water.
3 Cook the beans in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove and transfer to cold water. Drain, then peel and discard the tough outside skin. (If you’re using very young, fresh beans, the skins can be left on, but mature and frozen beans should be peeled.) Return the beans to the pan and cook for 2–5 minutes or until tender.
4 Heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–low heat. Add the celery and stir for 2 minutes. Add the peas and cream and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, broad beans and cheese and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the sauce to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss well to combine.
Tip: To get 155 g (51?2 oz/1 cup) shelled fresh peas, you will need about 450 g (1 lb) of peas in the pod.
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