Sweet Peas, Asparagus, and Shells Alfredo


Today’s recipe is a great spring pasta recipe. It includes asparagus, peas, mint, and lemon. You can throw all kinds of other vegetables in it, as well. Some diced carrots, cucumbers, green beans, or leeks would go great in this dish as well. Get whole grain shells, add some cooked chicken or tuna in for a protein… this dish is extremely adaptable, plus it’s almost a one-pot meal. Pot-and-a-colander meal? Is that a thing?

First, bring a large pot of salted water (it should taste like the ocean, in terms of saltiness, so don’t be shy with the salt), and cook the pasta according to packaged directions.


With 2 minutes left, add the asparagus, then with 30 seconds left, add the peas. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta, asparagus, and peas together in a colander.


Dry out the pasta pot, and pour in the sour cream. Here, Tracy from Shutterbean¬†uses heavy cream, but I like sour cream because it’s healthier and adds a slightly sour tang to the whole recipe, which I find a nice addition. Turn heat to medium, and add butter, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Stir until the butter has melted.


Add in 3/4 cup of the parmesan, and stir until the sauce is smooth.


Toss in the drained pasta, peas, and asparagus, and cook together until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen up the sauce.


Divide pasta among bowls, and top with remaining parmesan, parsley, and mint.



Sweet Peas, Asparagus, and Shells Alfredo

Course Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 -4
Author Cooking Madly


  • 1/2 lb . dried small pasta shells
  • 1 cup fresh shelled peas from about 1 lb. in the pod
  • 1 bunch asparagus tough ends trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Add asparagus to cook during the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time, and peas during the last 30 seconds. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, set aside. Drain the pasta, asparagus, and peas together.
  2. Dry out the pasta pot, and pour in the sour cream. Over medium heat, add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with freshly ground black pepper, add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add 3/4 cup Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth; then toss in the drained pasta, asparagus, & peas. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen up the sauce.
  3. Divide the pasta among bowls. Garnish with remaining Parmesan, chopped parsley & mint.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cookie and Kate May 16, 2013, 10:29 am

    Oh my, this sounds good! I don’t usually go for alfredo sauce at Italian restaurants but I would definitely enjoy this veggie-loaded, whole wheat, sour cream version.

    • Cooking Madly May 16, 2013, 10:51 am

      Thanks Kate! I agree with you… most alfredo sauces are just too overpowering and rich. But this is a great adaption, between the sour tang and all the extra veggies. Let me know how you like it, and what vegetables you end up throwing in.