Asparagus Pasta From Melissa Clark

My grown son is now in his own condo and this collection of recipes I called, Dearest Michael were written when he was younger as you will see by my references, as a gift to him for this very moment. 

Whether you read them for the story or the recipe, know that they were written as a tribute to the many people who have influenced my kitchen, my cooking and my notion of family.


As we have the delicious freedom to cook and plan for our Memorial Day weekends, I am reminded that all of this freedom is because of incredible service men and women who serve in our Military.

Before you fire up the grills and begin your busy weekends, try to get to Fort Adams in Newport today or tomorrow. If you haven't been to BOOTS ON THE GROUND HEROES MEMORIAL and you live nearby, please make every effort to visit especially if you have children. It is the reminder many of us need of the real reason we get to have a free and easy Memorial Day.

"In 2016, Operation Stand Down RI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial which presented almost 7,000 combat boots adorned with flags and placards. Each boot represents the life of a U.S. service member killed in action post 9-11 in the Global War on Terror."

My partner and many of his friends were drafted in 1968 to Vietnam. I wrote about his experience last Veteran's Day in this blog.

I used to be one of the people who would forget to say thank you to Veterans until I started dating Michael. My freedoms are because of people who join the military and the ones who are told to go. I get to write these recipes and do what I do with the ease in which I do it because of the men and women who do what they do. 

Thank you.

Wednesday’s food section, found in The New York Times and the Providence Journal, is something I really look forward to every week. Gail Ciampa’s beautiful writing usually gives me a new restaurant or recipe to consider and Melissa Clark, one of my favorite cookbook authors and writers, never disappoints my kitchen or my meals.

When I send out a Sunday recipe, it is often my own invention, borrowed from a vintage recipe or inspired by one of my friends delicious contributions.

This week though, I just couldn’t help myself in sending out a pretty much verbatim recipe found in last week’s recipes featuring asparagus. 

I followed this exactly as it stated and holy mouth watering delicious. I have told anyone who would listen about its interesting combination.

I am sharing it with you today because it needs to be in anyone’s recipe file as a seasonal staple when the best asparagus is out for its short life span in the farmer’s markets (and 4Town Farm if you are lucky enough to live in the East Bay RI area).

Once asparagus season is kaput, I intend to try this with broccoli in the fall, but until then, this recipe is 1-800-asparagus until the last possible shoot.

My only regret is that I forgot to take pictures so you will just have to trust me that this is not only delicious but beautiful and fresh looking too.

Thank you to Melissa Clark for always blowing my mind with easy recipes that don’t taste that way. The NYT is lucky to have you and so are we.

*Because I make some product recommendations in my blogs, I may get a small commission as an affiliate and or an Amazon affiliate. Anything I recommend I personally use. I want to make it easier to shop for items you may not have, need to replace-- or if you are a lover of all things kitchen like me, just want to add to your collection.

Asparagus and More Asparagus

As I head out to buy up the stalks of treasure before the season comes to a close, this recipe takes asparagus to a new level. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

smiling woman with glasses looking up at her son, a young man

Prep Time: About 25 minutes 

Servings:   4-6 (or 3 gigantic portions in our case because we couldn’t stop eating it despite our fullest bellies)


  • 8 T. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt (don’t skimp here- use full fat plain Greek yogurt, I used the 5% Full Fat Fage
  • 1 Cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 7 garlic cloves (4 thinly sliced, the other 3 for the food processor part of the recipe)
  • 1 t. kosher salt or more as needed
  • 1 pound short pasta as campanelle, shells, fusilli, or orecchiette ( I used Lentil Pasta and it was delicious)
    1/2 t red pepper flakes, plus more for taste
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Feta, crumbled into large chunks ( I use Narragansett Creamery, though Wedge in Warren did tell me they would be carrying feta soon…)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 c. mint leaves, torn
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (I actually omitted these because I forgot to buy them).


  • A pot for pasta and to mix everything together at the end. I used the same pot.
  • A large cast iron pan to saute the asparagus mixture


  • In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 5 T. Olive oil, the yogurt, 2/3 c. peas, the 3 whole cloves of garlic and 1 t. salt (I used 1/2 t.)
  • Pulse until the the sauce is no longer chunky scraping the sides with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil and add pasta and cook until the way you like it. Drain.
  • While the pasta is boiling, add the remaining 3 T olive oil and the thinly sliced garlic to a large skillet (I used my cast iron pan), 1/4 t. red pepper flakes and a big pinch of salt and cook over medium heat. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic turns golden brown at the edges, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the asparagus and remaining 1/3 c. Peas to the skillet and sauce until just cooked through, do not overcook the asparagus. Make sure it has that delightful mouth watering crunch. 
  • If for some reason the pan looks dry, add a T or 2 of water (mine didn’t at all and I am not sure how this would happen).
  • After draining the pasta, add the yogurt mixture to the warm pasta slowly stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn’t curdle, (I never noticed this happening). 
  • Stir in the asparagus pea mixture, crumbled feta, remaining 1/2 t. Red pepper flakes and the lemon juice. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil and top with bit leaves and scallions. Serve warm.

If you haven't been to one of my events yet, here are some upcoming ones this June. I serve food at all my events that I make myself and share recipes too. I am really excited to be hosting Joe Simone for my first of hopefully many pop up dining experiences too. You can sign up below.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published