If you were to peek inside my pantry on any given day of the week, you'd immediately notice the one ingredient that's never in short supply: Pasta. As someone who doesn't love to cook, I always keep bagfuls of dried pasta on-hand to whip up quick-and-easy weeknight meals in 30 minutes or less. At the moment of writing this article, rigatoni, fettuccine, and spaghetti are currently crowding my pantry shelves.
However, there's one season that always inspires me to channel my inner Ina Garten and whip up a slightly more elaborate pasta dish on a Monday evening: Spring. Thankfully, with bundles of peppery arugula, bunches of bright asparagus, and pods of sweet peas overflowing in the produce aisle, upgrading a simple bowl of weeknight pasta is incredibly easy in the midst of spring. To celebrate the season that makes me almost, kind of, enjoy spending time in the kitchen, I'm sharing the best pasta recipes to make now that spring produce has officially arrived.
Spanning a 30-minute artichoke and pea rigatoni to a hearty mushroom and beet bolognese, these are, without a doubt, the best pasta recipes to add to your rotation this spring.
Spicy Pesto, Asparagus, and Ricotta Pasta With Crispy Prosciutto
The Hero Ingredient: When paired with spicy jalapeños, salty prosciutto, and lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice, the bright asparagus really shines in this simple spring pasta dish.
The Pro Tip: "My trick to keep this quick cooking? Cooking the asparagus with the pasta" divulges recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Adding the asparagus to the boiling pasta water, saves you not only time but also leaves you with one less dirty dish to clean."
30-Minute Artichoke and Pea Rigatoni Pasta
The Recipe: 30-Minute Artichoke and Pea Rigatoni Pasta
The Hero Ingredient: The peas. Brimming with slightly sweet spring flavor, fresh peas make this simple 30-minute pasta recipe a crave-worthy meal you'll make on repeat all season long.
The Pro Tip: "The key to this pasta is using marinated artichoke hearts, they're my favorite go-to flavor booster in so many recipes," explains recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "Plus, using pre-cut and marinated artichokes makes cooking with artichokes easy peasy."
Cacio e Pepe With Arugula and Lemon
The Recipe: Cacio e Pepe With Arugula and Lemon
The Hero Ingredient: Peppery arugula and fresh lemon put a spring twist on this simple three-ingredient pasta, which is typically made with just Pecorino cheese, black pepper and spaghetti.
The Pro Tip: "The key to this recipe is the pasta cooking water," says recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "You simply cannot make this without that pasta water, as it's the water that creates that creamy and luscious sauce." In other words, don't drain that liquid gold.
Green Goddess Lasagna With Green Peppers, Asparagus, and Spinach
The Hero Ingredient: The veggies—diced onions, green peppers, sliced mushrooms, chopped asparagus, and leafy spinach—which all get sauteed in the same skillet, making cleanup that much easier.
The Pro Tip: "To reheat leftover lasagna, either cover it with aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 350ºF until it's heated through, or microwave it in a shallow dish with a little water in it (the water will prevent the lasagna from becoming rubbery)," advises recipe creator Sarah of The Broma Bakery.
Prosciutto Pea and Pesto Pasta Salad
The Recipe: Prosciutto Pea and Pesto Pasta Salad
The Hero Ingredient: Homemade pesto, made with plenty of fresh basil, salty pine nuts, nutty parmesan cheese, and a bit of fresh lemon juice, sets this pasta salad apart from the rest.
The Pro Tip: In the last minute of cooking the pasta, add in asparagus to cut down on prep time, offers recipe creator Sarah of The Broma Bakery. "Drain completely, then run cold water over everything until it comes to room temperature," she adds.
Hearty Mushroom and Beet Bolognese
The Recipe: Hearty Mushroom and Beet Bolognese
The Hero Ingredient: Roasted beets and mushrooms come together to make a surprisingly hearty, vegan-friendly bolognese. (Swap crimini mushrooms for seasonal morels to make the most of the spring ingredient.)
The Pro Tip: "A little splash of tamari soy sauce is great at the end of the cooking process, but not necessary," notes recipe creator Laura of The First Mess. "It just enhances all of those savory flavors. Add a teaspoon along with the cashew cream if you like."
Spring Pasta With Basil Pesto, Peas, and Pine Nuts
The Hero Ingredient: Topped with fresh basil, this green pasta dish tastes how spring feels: bright, refreshing, and delicious. (Note: Swap frozen peas with the fresh variety now that they're in season.)
The Pro Tip: "If your pesto is thick, or just 'cos you like it, feel free to drizzle with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil," recommends recipe creator Sarah of Stuck in the Kitchen.