Morels, asparagus and peas team up in this quintessential springtime pasta dish. Earthy mushrooms marry well with astringent asparagus and sweet peas. Famously delicious in sauces, risottos and pasta, these ingredients require little else except a nap of cream and a sprinkling of cheese to bind them all together, resulting in an easy yet elegant seasonal meal.
Linguine with Asparagus, Morels and Fava Beans
1/2 ounce dried morel mushrooms or 1/4 pound fresh morels, cleaned, sliced
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1″ pieces
1 pound linguine
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy heavy cream
1/2 cup shelled sweet peas
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
If using dried morels, place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 20 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze out any extra liquid. Cut in half lengthwise and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch until crisp-tender and bright green without overcooking, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
Add linguine to same pot and cook until al dente or firm to the bite according to package instructions; drain.
Heat olive oil and melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, morels and 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and morels are tender, about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and cream. Simmer until thickened and reduced by about half, 5-7 minutes. Stir in peas and simmer until brightened and crisp tender, 1 minute. Stir in the asparagus. Add pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a generous spoonful of grated cheese for garnish.