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Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 30 mins

Makes 6 servings

Pea tendrils, the tender tips of pea vines that taste just like the peas, make an unexpected and charming garnish.


  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound large pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Garnish: pea tendrils

How to Make It

  1. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, discarding tough ends. Cut snap peas in half.

  2. Stir together ricotta, lemon juice, 1 tsp. zest, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.

  3. Bring 4 qt. water to a boil in a stockpot over high heat. Add 1/4 cup salt; return to a boil. Add pasta; boil, stirring occasionally, 11 minutes or until al dente. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Drain pasta mixture, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot. Stir in olive oil, radishes, and reserved pasta water.

  4. Spread half of ricotta mixture in serving dish; top with pasta mixture. Dollop with remaining ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with mint and remaining zest. Add pepper to taste. Serve immediately.