Pea Shoot & Asparagus Pasta with Marcona Almonds

By Carly Sitner, Guest Contributor

This light and easy pasta dish screams summer produce. From pea shoots to asparagus to basil, each bite is filled with the freshest produce possible at this very moment in time. Some of the more distinct flavors in this dish come from a little help from the olive bar at a natural foods store or large grocer near you. You can choose your favorite green olives, grab some roasted garlic and (if you’re lucky) find some Marcona almonds as well. If you’ve never had a Marcona almond, now is the time. They are the King of nuts in my opinion. Coming from Spain, these almonds are blanched to remove the skin then FRIED and SALTED to perfection! They are extremely smooth and buttery and totally worth the cost. Of course if you can’t find any of these nuts, substitute with regular roasted & salted almonds.

 

Pea Shoot & Asparagus Pasta with Marcona Almonds

Serves 4

You’ll need:

  • 12oz campanelle pasta (or any thick noodle you wish)
  • 4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch pea shoots, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stems removed, roughly copped
  • 2 cups pencil asparagus, 1-1 ½” long pieces
  • 1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • ¼ cup sliced green olives, Italian or Spanish
  • 10 cloves roasted garlic
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds
  • 2 tbl nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, drain and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tbl of olive oil and add the shallots. Sweat for 5 minutes, until translucent and fragrant, then add the pea shoots, basil, asparagus and chickpeas. Season with lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes until the greens have wilted and the asparagus is tender.

Remove from the heat and toss in the olives and garlic.

Toss the pasta with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and nutritional yeast. Top with the greens and garnish with Marcona almonds.

Photo: Carly Sitner