Spring Orecchiette Pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, peas and fresh herbs in a light carbonara sauce with dollops of creamy Burrata cheese.

 A simple spring-inspired Orecchiette Pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, peas and fresh herbs in a light carbonara sauce with dollops of creamy Burrata cheese.I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.~Pablo Neruda

This simple vegetarian Orecchiette Pasta with mushrooms, asparagus, spring peas and dollops of creamy Burrata cheese is surprisingly light and sings of spring.

Fresh herbs and lemon zest give it brightness while the “sauce”,  similar to carbonara, gives it richness without the addition of cream, butter or oil. It’s perfect for weeknight meals, coming together in an easy 30 minutes.

Spring Pasta Carbonara with Fresh Peas, Asparagus and Burrata with Orchetti - aka, "little ear" pasta) in a light carbonara sauce. | www.featstingathome.com

Orecchiette pasta is named for its shape, and translates to “little ear”.  Small round “ears” are perfect for cradling the sprightly green peas and delicate sauce.

Burrata cheese if unfamiliar, is similar to fresh mozzarella, but with a twist. At the end of the mozzarella-making process, milky curds are stuffed into the mozzarella ball, along with a little fresh cream, then the ball is twisted off with a knot. It’s basically fresh mozzarella, but with an unexpected delicious creamy center. It’s packaged in water similar in flavor to fresh mozzarella, mild and light.

Spring Pasta Carbonara with Fresh Peas, Asparagus and Burrata with Orchetti - aka, "little ear" pasta) in a light carbonara sauce. | www.featstingathome.com
Gather an assortment of spring vegetables and greens, along with mushrooms which will add depth and flavor to the pasta. If you can get a hold of spring morels, fiddleheads or ramps, by all means, use them.
Fresh peas add a delicious snap. These can often be found at Trader Joes Market, already shucked.

 English peas

If you like bitter greens, wilted dandelions add a nice bitterness which I enjoy, but be aware -dandelions are more appropriate for the grown-up palate.
Wilted Dandelion
 They can be very bitter. Substitute peppery arugula, spinach or swiss chard for milder options.
Spring Orecchiette Pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, peas and fresh herbs in a light carbonara sauce with dollops of creamy Burrata cheese. | #orecchiette #burrata #springpasta

The secret to making flavorful pasta is very simple, but nearly always forgotten. You must generously salt the water. These days, I always measure the salt to water ratio. It ensures the dish will be flavorful.

For 16 oz of pasta–  use 4 Quarts water with 2 Tablespoons of salt.  Yes, it seems like a lot, but remember you won’t actually be consuming all of this. It just flavors the pasta.

In this recipe, once the pasta is just about done, I quickly throw in the peas and sugar peas into the pasta water, to blanch for about 1 minute. Drain.

Spring Pasta Carbonara with Fresh Peas, Asparagus and Burrata with Orchetti - aka, "little ear" pasta) in a light carbonara sauce. | www.featstingathome.com

Another tip to making flavorful pasta dishes, is investing in a good quality Parmesan or pecorino cheese.

Yes, the good quality cheese will cost more, but you will end up using less of it, because of its pungent concentrated flavor.

For this recipe, I used only half of a cup.

Lemon zest gives a little brightness.

And little pillows of burrata are heavenly little treasures.
Spring Pasta Carbonara with Fresh Peas, Asparagus and Burrata with Orchetti - aka, "little ear" pasta) in a light carbonara sauce. | www.featstingathome.com

Once the pasta is plattered, break up bite-sized pieces of the creamy burrata with a fork, and scatter over top along with the fresh herbs and lemon zest.

Spring Orecchiette Pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, peas and fresh herbs in a light carbonara sauce with dollops of creamy Burrata cheese. | #orecchiette #burrata #springpasta
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Orecchiette Pasta with fresh peas, asparagus and herbs in a very light carbonara sauce. 

Spring Orecchiette Pasta with Burrata, Fresh Peas & Asparagus

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian, pasta
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Spring Orecchiette Pasta with asparagus, fresh peas, mushrooms and herbs is tossed in a very light carbonara sauce, topped with pillowy burrata cheese.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 oz Orecchiette pasta
  • 4 Quarts of water (16 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 cups peas (Trader Joes often carries fresh shucked peas) or use frozen peas
  • 2 cups snow peas or sugar peas
  • 1 cup asparagus tips (optional)
  • ——-
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion- diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 812 oz mushrooms sliced or quartered -cremini, shiitake, buttons or morels
  • 2 cups wilting greens- dandelion, arugula, chard, spinach – chopped
  • generous pinch salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 2 Eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup parmesan or pecorino
  • 1  ball burrata cheese- optional
  • lemon zest from one small lemon
  • 1/41/2  cup fresh chopped herbs- mint, basil, dill, or Italian Parsley or a blend. 

Instructions

  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot with 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook to al dente, about 7 minutes ( or see directions on package). During the last minute of cooking the pasta, add the fresh peas, sugar peas and asparagus tips to the boiling pasta, turn the heat up to high and quickly blanch for one minute. Drain the pasta and veggies (reserving 1-2 cups hot pasta water). Do not rinse. Return to the pot, turn heat off.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the mushrooms: In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until tender and fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and saute until golden and tender 7-8 minutes.  Add a pinch of  salt and pepper. Add greens and sauté, stirring often until just wilted. Set pan aside.
  3. Whisk two eggs in a small bowl, set aside.
  4. Temper the Eggs. Once the pasta is drained and back in the pot,  gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the reserved hot pasta water, one tablespoon at a time into the eggs, to temper the eggs (to warm them up gently- so they don’t curdle). Stir well.
  5. COMBINE: Pour tempered eggs over the pasta and with a big wood spoon, gently stir to coat the pasta. Stir in the mushrooms, half of the lemon zest and half of the fresh the herbs, cracked pepper and parmesan, adding more hot pasta water as needed to loosen the pasta,  and make it a  “saucy”.  You don’t want this dry. I usually add a cup or more.
  6. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. Place on a platter or bowl and sprinkle with remaining herbs, lemon zest. Dot with dollops of burrata cheese.
  8. Serve immediately!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 357
  • Sugar: 6.3 g
  • Sodium: 537.2 mg
  • Fat: 7.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.6 g
  • Fiber: 6.1 g
  • Protein: 17.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 56.2 mg

Keywords: Orecchiette recipe, Orecchiette pasta recipe, Orecchiette with Asparagus, Orecchiette with peas, Spring Orecchiette recipe

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  1. I’m surprised there aren’t more reviews (5-stars) for this recipe; it’s fantastic, even in the Fall. 🙂 I had peas and mushrooms in the fridge and needed some inspiration. Whenever that happens, I find myself coming to your blog, which is often. LOL. I searched on English Peas and this recipe was towards the top. I followed it as written, though no burrata as I had forgotten to buy some, but it was quite lovely (and filling) even without the burrata. Thank you, Sylvia, for yet another fabulous recipe!

    1. Thanks Krista! It’s an older recipe, a little harder to find on the blog, but I’m so glad you found it and enjoyed it!

    1. Mary, I hate to tell you this- but this is one of those recipes, that is best made right before serving! I’d pick something else. 🙂

  2. I loved the pasta and all the fresh, spring vegetables, but I would skip the addition of the tempered eggs. It made it a bit too eggy for me…

  3. I loved this recipe. It’s very fresh and light, perfect for the season. I didn’t pay attention to the serving size and ended up making way too much. I could have halved the recipe and still had a lot leftover for two! I’m sure the leftovers will be great though. I used fresh parsley and tarragon for the herbs, and followed everything else to the T, aside from the burrata. My store was out, so I used bocconcini mozzarella. My husband loved it even tho it’s vegetarian. It’s light but filling. Will definitely make this one again. Thanks!

  4. i am making this recipe this evening and just found out one of dinner guests does not eat eggs…PLEASE if you can respond todat what do i use as a substitute??
    Thanks so much …just saw this recipe the other day and loved it…cant wait to make it but need a sub.

    1. There is no sub here, so you could portion part out, and loosen it with the salted pasta water (with out egg) and season with cheese. Or leave out the egg all together, same idea, loosen the pasta with the pasta water. Make sure to measure the salt in the pasta water for the most flavor here.

  5. Just an FYI you have whisking eggs twice in your recipe at two different spots and then you say to sauté the mushrooms but then you say to add onions but then you say then to add the mushrooms again so it’s just a little confusing I can figure it out but thought you should know

  6. Did anyone who commented made this recipe? I think that this recipe is poorly written. 2 Tablespoon of salt in the cooking water? When do I need to add the mushroom onion mixture?

  7. I love orecchiette, but I’m now gluten free. Do you have an alternative pasta suggestion? Penne, rigatoni, shells?

    1. Im having a hard time coming up with one…play around with it and see if you can! Are you vegan?

  8. Your beautiful food photography gives me goosebumps! Plus orecchiette are my all time favorite pasta. Cannot wait to read through more of your recipes.

  9. I have to say that this post evokes Spring in the best possible way. Every photo that you posted is a work of culinary art. The recipe is delightful. Thanks for the ratio of pasta, water and salt. I always salt my pasta water, but appreciate the specific amounts.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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