I invented this recipe the other night with leftovers (as one does with quarantine cooking—I cook in order of which produce needs to be used first) and it’s now a household favorite—like eating spring in a bowl! This is an easy quick dinner, particularly once you have everything prepped—about 15 - 20 min. of cooking time.
Note: We try to stay away from wheat, so we used “Banza” shell pasta (made from chickpeas—2x the protein, 3x the fiber, and 30% fewer net carbs of regular pasta), but feel free to substitute the pasta of your choice.
Serves 4, depending on how hungry you are!
1 box Banza shell pasta
Good olive oil, a lot
1 sm. yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves slivered garlic
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 bulb fennel, topped and tailed and thinly sliced
4 oz. cubed pancetta
1 bunch asparagus
1 c. fresh English peas
⅓ c. simple basil pesto sauce (if you use store bought, make sure it’s made with olive oil and not canola or safflower oil)
½ lemon, juiced
½ c. heavy cream
¼ c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 springs fresh mint
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Fill a large pot with water, salt generously and bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to instructions (I use 10 minutes for the Banza shell pasta). When timer dings, drain immediately and shock with cold water to stop cooking, then add back to the pot and set on the back burner.
Meanwhile, heat 1 T. olive oil in a large, heavy skillet then add one small yellow onion, thinly sliced, stir. After about a minute, add the fennel and slivered garlic. Continue to stir till all is wilted and turning a lovely golden color. Next, add the cubed pancetta to the pan, stir. After about a minute, add the asparagus and peas, stir and season all with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about 7 more minutes on medium heat, stirring often, adding more olive oil.
Then, add the pesto, lemon juice, and Parmigiano Reggiano, stir. After about a minute, turn heat to low and add in the heavy cream, stir and taste, adjusting seasoning if needed.
Lastly, add all ingredients of the skillet to the pot of drained pasta and place on your low-heat burner. Stir well and heat through, adjusting if needed (more olive oil, cheese, splash more cream, etc.). Remove and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh mint. Enjoy!
Certified Professional Coach Kate Buckley is committed to facilitating personal growth and systemic transformation. An intuitive and deep listener, she specializes in helping both individuals and organizations reframe their stories in order to reclaim their life—creating meaningful strategies to transform circumstances in order to thrive!