Say spring with a pasta dish

Morels, asparagus and peas team up in this quintessential spring pasta dish. Earthy mushrooms pair well with early asparagus and sweet peas. Famous for being delicious in sauces, risottos and pastas, these ingredients require little more than a layer of cream and a dash of cheese to bind them together, resulting in a simple yet elegant seasonal meal.

In this recipe, chicken broth is added, adding flavor and lightening the rich sauce. Blanched and peeled beans are just as delicious and can replace peas. If you can’t find fresh morels, which are short-lived and expensive, dried ones will do. Simply replenish the dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain. Discard the soaking liquid.

Linguine With

Asparagus, Morels and Peas

Active time: 30 minutes

Total duration: 30 minutes

Yield: For 4 people

8 ounces asparagus, tough ends trimmed, stems cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup shelled fresh peas (see note)

12 ounces of linguine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 pound fresh morels, cleaned, halved lengthwise (or 1 ounce dried morels, reconstituted in hot water)

Kosher salt

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup packed finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and shelled fresh peas and blanch until vegetables are bright green and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables using a slotted spoon or colander and refresh them under cold water to stop the cooking. Put aside.

Bring the water back to a boil. Add linguine and cook 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the morels and season with a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the morels are tender, 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Pour in the cream and broth. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in half the cheese until melted and sauce thickens, about 2 minutes more.

Add the asparagus, peas and drained pasta to the skillet and heat over medium-low heat for about 1 minute, stirring and stirring constantly to combine. If the pasta is too dry, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Divide the pasta into serving bowls. Grind black pepper on the bowls and serve with the rest of the cheese for sprinkling.