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Spring Pasta with Escarole

spring pasta.jpg


  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 4 ounces fettuccine or tagliatelle pasta

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large shallot, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges and more zest for serving

  • 1 small head escarole, torn (about ¾ lb.)

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cook until bright green, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a colander; refresh under cold running water.

2. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta in a colander.

3. When the pot is cool enough to handle, dry with paper towels. Add oil and butter; heat over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, the pasta, beans, lemon zest, and ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta water as needed, until a glossy sauce forms and coats the pasta, about 4 minutes.

4. Add escarole, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper; toss to combine. Garnish each serving with lemon wedges and additional lemon zest, if desired.


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