Pilar Valdes' Spring Vegetable Pasta


Spring Vegetable Pasta

  • 2 Cloves Garlic Peeled
  • 1 Cup Shelled Roasted Pistachios
  • 3 Tbsp Well-Packed Chopped Mint
  • 1/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Lemon
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Chili Flakes Optional
  • 1 Pound Tagliatelle Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus Trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch chick on the bias
  • 1 Cup Fresh Peas Shelled



In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the garlic, pistachios, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles pebbles of varying sizes. Add the mint and pour in ⅓ cup olive oil; process until a loose sauce forms. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili flakes, as desired. Set aside. (By the way, a mortar and pestle works for this, too.)   

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. (How salty? Like the sea.) As soon as the water is boiling, drop in the pasta and give it a gentle stir. If using fresh pasta, cook for 1 minute and then add the asparagus and peas. (If using dried pasta, cook according to the package instructions until not quite al dente and then add the vegetables.) Continue to cook for about 1 minute more, until the pasta is just al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water; drain pasta and vegetables.  

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 4 heaping tablespoons of the pistachio sauce. Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to emulsify. Add the pasta and vegetables and continue to cook and toss until the sauce is thick and glistening and the noodles are fully coated, about 1 minute more. Feel free to add a little more pistachio sauce or pasta water to achieve your desired consistency. Turn off the heat.  

Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls and dollop with more pistachio sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and chili flakes, if using.