Orecchiette with Garlic, Olive Oil, Spring Vegetables, and Pecorino

This beautiful dish of bright, crisp-tender asparagus, sweet green peas, golden slivers of garlic, orecchiette-shaped pasta and shaved pecorino herald fresh, green spring.

Servings: 4


  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. During the last minute of cooking add the asparagus and peas (if using fresh peas add them during the last 3 minutes). Drain and reserve.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and crushed red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add the reserved pasta and vegetables and cook, tossing, until heated through about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and salt. Divide among 4 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons cheese.