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Classic Spring Pasta Dish

Ditch the heavy red sauce and make this easy, springy and pretty pasta dish to welcome spring.

You and your family will be ready for spring with this lighter pasta dish. Photo credit: Fay Abrahamsson.
You and your family will be ready for spring with this lighter pasta dish. Photo credit: Fay Abrahamsson.
The weekly In the Kitchen With Fay column is written by Fay Abrahamsson.

When the weather turns a bit warmer, it's natural to move from heavier and heartier dishes such as red-sauce pastas and beef stews to lighter entrees such as this recipe. This dish is still satisfying as a hot meal, but reminds of us spring and soon-to-be summer nights. 

Springtime Pasta
3 T butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. prosciutto, sliced thin, chopped in chunky pieces
½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced into 2” pieces
1 lb. dried fettuccine or dried pasta of your choice
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Drizzle of olive oil 

In a large non-stick pan, melt butter. Add shallot and garlic and sauté on low for 5 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook on low for a few minutes more.

Add wine (or chicken broth), lemon juice and zest, freshly ground pepper and let simmer on very low heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes until bright green and cooked, but still crisp. Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain, remembering to reserve about one cup of the pasta water.

To assemble:  In large pasta bowl, add cooked fettuccine. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and toss.  Add prosciutto mixture, asparagus and Parmesan cheese and toss gently.  Add small amounts of the hot pasta water until a desired moistness is achieved.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 hearty servings.

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