Featuring some of the deliciously sweet and delicate produce available around Easter, this delicate, luscious pasta is the epitome of spring. Remembered to have been devised in America at some point during the 70s, we gave this retro recipe a few present day changes, and, TBH, we can’t get enough of it.
There’s a reason why this veggie-packed pasta is a classic. It’s the perfect dish to make in the spring or summer to celebrate fresh flavors and produce because it’s easy to make and can be adapted to what you have on hand. Or, make this for a Valentine’s Day dinner that’s extra special and give them a homemade present they’ll always remember.
We gave this old recipe some modern tweaks that we believe really take it to the next level. It is thought to have been created in America sometime in the 1970s. The following are our top recommendations for making this pasta, as well as information about what makes it so special:
Which pasta ought to I use?
Although penne or spaghetti can be used in this pasta dish as well, we chose to use egg-based pappardelle instead. The ideal surface for sweet sautéed vegetables is its rich flavor and fresh-pasta-like texture. Tagliatelle or fettuccine would also work well to change things up.
Vegetables are everything.
— Cooking from roots to leaves. Two items that are frequently discarded are used in this dish: the “tough” dark green tops of leeks, which take a little longer to cook than the pale and white parts but taste just as delicious, and the radish greens, which have a slight peppery flavor and cook down quickly.
The radishes Red radishes are typically spicy, but when roasted or sautéed, they become extremely sweet and tender.
— Mushrooms with meat. Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, are a real treat if you’ve never tried them. They have a pleasant, slightly chewy texture and a super savory pop of flavor. Oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, or cremini mushrooms are all excellent substitutes if you want to try a different kind of fungus.
Want to try something new with your veggies? No problem! This dish can be made with any roasted vegetables you have on hand: Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli are all excellent substitutes.
Can any meat be added?
Absolutely! Shrimp or chicken breasts would be excellent additions if you want more protein.
Who made it? Please share your thoughts in the section below!
- 1/2 (8.8-oz) bag pappardelle
- 1 (8 to 9-oz) bunch red radishes, with tops
- 1 medium leek
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 2 oz. maitake mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 oz. (about 1 heaping cup) sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into thirds on the bias
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. white wine
- 3/4 c. heavy cream or half & half
- 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon zest, for serving
Boil pappardelle in salted water according to directions on bag, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, prep vegetables: separate radish tops from radishes and rinse and dry both. Quarter radishes, and roughly chop their greens. Transfer each to separate bowls. Halve leek lengthwise and rinse thoroughly. Remove root and slice into ¼” pieces, keeping dark green parts separate from light green and white parts.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add radishes and shake pan so that all radishes are cut-side down. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, or until undersides are golden. Stir, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Transfer radishes to a medium bowl, add more oil if necessary, and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden and tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl with radishes.
Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining oil. Add dark green leeks and cook for 2 minutes, until bright green and slightly tender. Add light green leeks and snap peas, season with salt, and cook 2 minutes more. Add garlic and radish greens and cook 1 minute more, until garlic is fragrant and greens are wilted.
Add radishes and mushrooms back to skillet, stir to combine, then add wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wine has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream, bring up to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat, add pasta, toss, then add parmesan and toss gently until everything is well combined and cheese is melted. If sauce is too thick, add pasta water little by little, stirring after each addition, until sauce is smooth and velvety.
Once plated, zest pasta with lemon and season with black pepper. Serve with additional parmesan on the side.