After skipping participation in Dreyer’s Farms’ CSA program in 2022, this year my daughter and I have decided to rejoin. For us, we selected the medium box which is perfect for six people. This first week of the program offered asparagus, lettuce, radishes, parsley, spinach, kale, parsley and eggs. We split the produce between us, however, depending what’s in the box, sometimes splitting is difficult. This week I let my daughter keep the parsley and I took the lettuce.
It just so happened that last Wednesday’s Food Section of The New York Times had a one-page article with recipes by Melissa Clark entitled, “Six Weeks of Bright Green Delight.” One of the recipes was for Asparagus-Feta Pasta. My husband and I adore pasta in any way, shape or form; this one was no different.
Besides the asparagus and feta cheese you’ll also need olive oil, plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup frozen peas, 7 garlic cloves (3 finely grated or minced; 4 thinly sliced), kosher salt, short pasta shape such as campanelle (shells, fusillli or orecchiette), red pepper flakes, fresh lemon juice, mint leaves and scallions.
The sauce is made in a blender or food processor with olive oil, Greek yogurt, 2/3 cup peas and minced garlic. In addition to the sauce, the sliced garlic is sautéed in a pan with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Once the garlic is golden, the asparagus and remaining peas are added and cooked through.
When the pasta is done and drained (I suggest saving a cup of the pasta water), you slowly add the yogurt sauce in batches, stirring thoroughly after each addition. The combination of the heat with the yogurt sauce can cause curdling. The asparagus mixture is added along with the feta, 1/4 red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings by adding salt or red pepper flakes. To serve, drizzle additional olive oil on top, add shredded mint leaves and sliced scallions.
I didn’t use all of the yogurt sauce when I dressed my pasta. If you find the pasta a bit dry, a little bit of the reserved pasta water will loosen the sauce.
My pasta serving contained mint, my husband’s did not, but we both found this to be a very tasty preparation. The mint added a freshness and the sauce had a nice richness. Overall, a divine pasta meal and a great way to add vegetables to your meal.
“Six Weeks of Bright Green Delight,” Melissa Clark
The New York Times/A Good Appetite
May 17, 2023
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
8 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
7 garlic cloves (3 finely grated or minced, 4 thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
1-pound short pasta, such as campanelle, shells, fusilli or orecchiette
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
8 ounces feta, crumbled into large chunks
Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
¼ cup mint leaves, torn
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
*Donna’s Note: Reserve one cup of pasta water. I didn’t use all the yogurt sauce when dressing my pasta. If you find the mixture too thick on the pasta, add a tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.