2000s Recipes + Menus

Asparagus, Peas, and Basil (Piselli con Asparagi e Basilico)

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:30 min
April 2008
"What grows together, goes together" is a concept that often holds true, but disparate denizens of the garden sometimes need coaxing to harmonize. Ferrigno sets about the task with wise restraint—just a little butter, shallot, and fresh basil turns asparagus and peas into the best of friends.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 lb shelled fresh peas (2 1/2 cups; 1 3/4 lb in pods) or 1 (10-oz) package thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)
  • Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in asparagus, peas, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then seal skillet with foil. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in basil and sea salt to taste.
Cooks’ note: Peas can be shelled and asparagus cut 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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