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Springiest Pasta

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

45 Minutes


8 Servings



About the Recipe

A beautiful green, light pasta filled with fresh herbs, peas and alliums!


  • leeks

  • 12 scallions

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 cups frozen green peas

  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta shells or choice of pasta

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, room temperature

  • 1 cup grated pecorino

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped chives

  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1/2 cup barely chopped dill

  • 1/2 cup barely chopped mint


1) Cut away the fibrous, tough green tops from the leeks. Split them in half lengthwise, then roughly chop. Wash obsessively, then dry (these hoard a lot of grit). Finely chop the white parts of the scallions, then roughly chop the green.

2) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and a big pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring every so often, until starting to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and continue to cook—lowering the heat as needed—until caramelized and jammy, about 30 minutes. Add the garlic toward the end.

3) Meanwhile, set a large pot of water over high heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, or enough to make it very salty. Bring to a boil.

4) When the leeks and scallions are almost done, add the frozen peas to the boiling water. Blanch for about 1 minute. Scooch the leeks and scallions to the exterior of the skillet (so they form a pseudo-halo). Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-low. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to the skillet. Let fry for a moment, then toss with the leeks and scallions.

5) While those sauté, boil the pasta. While that boils, add the Greek yogurt to a big bowl.

6) When the pasta is almost done, snag 1 cup or so of the salty, starchy pasta water—this will help create your sauce. Add a big splash—about 1/4 cup—to the yogurt and stir. Add the sautéed vegetables and stir. Drain the pasta, add that, and stir. Add half the cheese, the chives, and half the herbs, and stir. Add more pasta water, if needed, to create a lovely sauce (remember it will thicken as it cools!). Season to taste with salt. To serve, top with the remaining cheese, herbs, and red pepper flakes. 

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