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Lemony Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Smoked Prosciutto & Peas

  • Author: carolinefey
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 5 1x
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian


This pasta screams spring with asparagus, English peas, a bright, light, lemony sauce, plenty of Pecorino and basil. I like to add smoked prosciutto, or speck, at the end, but you can easily omit it if you’re not into pork. The pasta is delicious warm or at room temperature, and it also makes great leftovers.


Units Scale
  • 3/4 lb pasta of your choice, I used Gigli shape for this but any pasta would do
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1/4 inch coins with tips left intact
  • 10 oz English peas, fresh or frozen (I used @traderjoes fresh English peas)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino, plus more for grating on top
  • 1 lemon (I used a pink lemon for this recipe, but any lemon will do)
  • 5 oz thinly sliced prosciutto (I used Trader Joes smoked prosciutto for this recipe, but speck or any other prosciutto would do)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh basil


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta following the instructions, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1½ cups of the pasta water and set aside. In a large saucepan add the butter, onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft and slightly translucent. Add the asparagus, peas and ½ cup of the pasta water and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon zest and 1 teaspoon salt and give it a stir, then add the pasta, Pecorino and remaining pasta water. Simmer for a minute or two. Tear the prosciutto into pieces and stir most of it into the pasta. Divide the pasta between serving bowls. Top with the extra prosciutto, a generous squeeze of lemon, freshly grated Pecorino and basil sprigs.

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