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Fettuccine Primavera

Scott Phillips

Servings: six.

This quintessential springtime pasta includes lots and lots of fresh herbs, as well as leafy greens. The specific vegetables and herbs used are up to you; choose what looks best at the market.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. fettuccine
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups very thinly sliced mixed spring vegetables, such as asparagus (leave tips whole), baby carrots, baby leeks, baby turnips, baby zucchini, spring onions, and sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup whole, shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas, baby lima beans (preferably peeled), or fava beans (peeled); or a mix of all
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced lemon zest (remove zest with a vegetable peeler and thinly slice)
  • 2 cups loosley packed pea shoots, watercress sprigs, or baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, chervil, chives, mint, parsley, and tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 6 minutes. (While pasta is cooking, scoop out 1-1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.)

    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, but not browned, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of of reserved pasta water. Add the sliced vegetables and peas or lima beans (if using fresh). Cover and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and lemon zest along with any fava beans or thawed, frozen peas or lima beans (if using). Bring to a simmer.

    Drain the fettuccine and return to its cooking pot. Toss with the vegetables and cream sauce, pea shoots (or watercress or arugula), Parmigiano, all but 1 Tbs. of the herbs, and the pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water; the sauce should generously coat the vegetables and pasta. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining fresh herbs and the pine nuts.


Not sure how to peel fava beans? Check out our article for more information of shelling and prepping fresh favas.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • SharonTed | 07/01/2016

    Overall, I think this is a good recipe but definitely needs some tweaking. I would not cut corners by using half and half like I did. You need the cream to properly coat the pasta - half n' half is too thin. I would recommend adding more grated Parmesan, Locatelli or Grana Padana. A good grind of pepper is needed too. I used asparagus, frozen baby peas, shaved carrots, zucchini, watercress, and arugula along with a blend of fresh basil, mint, and parsley. The vegetables and herbs were a perfect blend. I did add the pasta water to help the sauce adhere to the pasta. I would not recommend vegetable broth because you need the starch from the pasta water for your sauce.

  • twood | 02/28/2011

    Perfect for a weeknight meal. I used broccoli, carrots, fennel, 1/2 & 1/2 instead of heavy cream, and basil, parsley, & mint for the herbs. It was a quick, tasty and very fresh pasta dish. Will certainly do this again.

  • FoodieNerd | 04/09/2008

    Wow, this was SO GOOD! We couldn't stop eating it, so beware. I chose to use carrots, asparagus, frozen peas and baby arugula for the vegetables. Instead of simmering the vegetables in pasta water, I used a little under a cup of vegetable broth. I used basil, mint and flat leaf parsley for the herbs. The flavor was bright, kind of sweet and very fresh. I cant wait to eat this again.

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