One-Pot Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Fava Beans & Peas

One-Pot Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Fava Beans, and Peas

I’m currently contemplating a big blog change, because fonts and colors and layouts are important. I’m also doing a project on instagram that involves launching an online handmade store in 100 days. I’m trying to make things and read things and figure out what all of my little projects and hobbies add up to. And all the while, I’m reading 800-page novels and writing papers and taking exams for classes that will be over in a month.

Sure, I constantly have stuff to do, but I’m loving every minute of it. I’m learning so much. I’m learning about the brain and the body, about our strange culture, about the ways that we speak to each other now. I’m learning how to write well and clearly. Most of all, I’m learning that it takes guts and time to make things, and put them out there in the world.

Nothing you ever write or paint or photograph is 100% perfect. Sometimes you have to let it go, say “this is it,” and release your work. Sometimes people will criticize you, or they won’t like what you’re doing. And sometimes you won’t hear a response at all, because nobody will see the thing that you spent hours making. But sometimes, your work will resonate with someone. They will love what you’ve created.

And that feels like winning the lottery. I honestly think that moment of connection is why anyone doing any kind of creative work keeps going. I know it’s why I do.

One-Pot Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Fava Beans, and Peas

This is a pasta recipe for the light and bright days of spring,  filled with fresh asparagus, fava beans, and peas. It’s filling and hearty, but also makes use of the best and freshest ingredients of the season.

It’s also a recipe for the time-crunched. It’s weeknight dinner material. This is the thing you make when you have many projects to finish and to-do list tasks to check off. This pasta comes together in one pot, in under twenty minutes. Want to save more time? Chop up the veggies as your pasta boils. Done.

One-Pot Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Fava Beans, and Peas

I only recently hopped on the onepot pasta bandwagon. It’s a magical concept. Your sauce and pasta cook together in a single dish, and are ready to serve at the right time. Most of these recipes are ridiculously fast.

I’m still working on my one-pot pasta skills. The first pot that I made, I simmered angel hair noodles in tomato sauce and a little water. The pasta took forever to cook, and ended up more chewy than usual. The second, I tried making a one-pot mac and cheese. Here, too, I had trouble getting the pasta to cook quickly and without becoming gummy. (I prefer this totally from-scratch mac and cheese.)

One-Pot Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Fava Beans, and Peas

So I figured I would give one-pot pasta one more try, this time simply blanching veggies with the pasta and tossing the whole mess in an olive oil sauce.

It worked.

We begin with pasta. I used orecchiette, or “little ear.” Toss your pasta into a pot of simmering salted water.

Add fresh shelled fava beans in the last couple of minutes of cooking.

And peas, fresh or frozen.

And just a minute before turning off the heat, toss in some asparagus.

Drain your pasta and vegetables, leaving just a little salty water behind, and you’ll have this.

Add fresh herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Easy as pie. This is one of the simplest and most beautiful dinners I’ve made in a while.

Try the pasta + blanched veggies trick. It’s effortless.


One Pot Asparagus, Fava Bean & Pea Spring Pasta


  • 1/2 cup orecchiette, or other medium-sized shaped pasta
  • 1/4 cup shelled fava beans, raw
  • 1/2 cup chopped asparagus, 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt generously, then add orecchiette and boil according to package directions. (Mine took about 12-13 minutes.)
  2. Three minutes before the pasta is done, add fava beans and peas. Cover and let boil.
  3. One minute before the pasta is done, add the chopped asparagus. Let boil for a final minute.
  4. Drain the pasta and vegetable mixture. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, the minced clove of garlic, and mint leaves. Toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to fit your needs. Just make sure your pasta pot is big enough to accommodate all the ingredients before beginning. To make this in 20 minutes, wash and chop your vegetables as your pasta is boiling.

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