Spring has finally arrived! The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. And I’m definitely ready to put those hearty winter meals behind me for now – my tastebuds are yearning for some lighter, fresher flavors!
So in honor of spring and all of its gloriousness, here’s a pasta dish that’s just perfect for a light spring supper. It’s creamy and cheesy, but still bright and fresh with a generous helping of vibrant green peas. I kept it a little on the lighter side by using milk and chicken broth instead of heavy cream and then added in some lean ground turkey (which you could totally omit for a vegetarian version).
I like to serve this as a main dish accompanied by a simple green salad. And you can’t go wrong by adding a glass of wine (or sparkling water) and a piece of homemade garlic toast.
- If you can get your peas fresh from your spring garden, that’s just fabulous, but frozen peas work just as well. And if you aren’t a fan of peas then just substitute another seasonal spring veggie like asparagus or artichokes.
- Change it up by using chicken sausage instead of ground turkey. Leave out the meat entirely and double the veggies for a vegetarian option.
- I used extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, but use any light-colored cheese that you enjoy. Swiss, gruyere, mozzarella, or Havarti are good choices (avoid yellow cheeses unless you don’t mind a yellow sauce). You can even use a blend of cheeses like a mix of Italian-style cheeses.
- I use milk in the recipe to keep it light, but you can make it a bit richer by substituting half and half.
- It’s totally optional, but I like to add a squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, dill, and/or chives) before serving.
- The recipe calls for mini-penne pasta, but use whatever shape you like.
- Be generous with the salt and pepper to avoid a bland-tasting sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Happy Spring and I hope you enjoy!