Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables

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

Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables
Photo: Alison Miksch
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
6 servings


  • 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


  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.

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