The season’s first garlic is celebrated in this delicate pasta dish. Serve it alongside our Shaved Fennel and Pistachio Salad for an effortless vegetarian meal.
What to buy: Green garlic is garlic that is harvested in the spring before the full bulb is allowed to develop. It looks similar to a thick scallion and has a strong garlic aroma but a mild flavor. Look for it at your farmers’ market from March to May.
Game plan: Make sure to serve the pasta immediately after tossing it with the sauce—the thin angel hair will quickly turn mushy if it sits.
This dish was featured as part of our Recipes for Spring Ingredients slideshow.
- Yields: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 30 mins
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced green garlic (white and light green parts only)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 1 pound asparagus (about 1 bunch), woody ends removed and thinly sliced on the bias
- 12 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed and thinly sliced on the bias (about 3 1/2 cups)
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and 1/4 cup of the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cream and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer until the onion is completely tender and the flavors have infused the cream, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
- Add the pasta and vegetables to the boiling water. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the pasta is cooked all the way through, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot. Add the reserved cream sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons garlic, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss to coat the pasta and vegetables, adding more pasta water by the tablespoonful as needed to reach the desired consistency. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed; serve immediately.
Beverage pairing: Cantina di Gallura Vermentino Canayli, Italy. This excellent, mineral-driven wine from the island of Sardinia also boasts green notes, running between green pepper and green pear. Its dryness allows it to coexist with the mellow but assertive flavors of the green garlic and asparagus, while its medium body and density give it a lovely presence.