5 Fresh Pasta Dishes Showcasing Spring Peas

Peas are one of our favorites items to pick up at the farmers' market come springtime. It makes an A+ companion to any and all varieties of pasta.

By: Emily Lee

Frame 225,Giada De Laurentiis' Tagliatelle with Smashed Peas, Sausage, and Ricotta Cheese as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

After a long produce slump, vibrant spring vegetables are finally back at the marketplace. The one seasonal gem we’re most-eager to cook with? It’s not trendy and elusive ramps — and it’s not pop culture’s darling avocados either. Yes, that’s right: We are giving peas a chance. (You knew that was coming.)

But seriously, guys. Tender and earthy with a subtle hint of sweetness (especially when softened in butter), this versatile veg is one of our favorites for a reason: It makes an A+ companion to any and all varieties of pasta. And in most cases, if you can’t get your hands on fresh peas, using frozen is perfectly fine.

From long and luxurious fettuccine to petite and plump orzo, here are a few of our favorite pasta-and-pea pairings to try out this spring.

Comfort food gets a spring makeover in Giada De Laurentiis’ creamy tagliatelle recipe. Hot Italian sausage lends a boost of sweet and spicy flavor, while the peas add a necessary pop of color.

Ina Garten fortifies humble basil pesto with the addition of spring peas and a little bit of spinach, too, when creating this beautiful yet simple pasta dinner.

The subtly sweet, almost candied taste of pan-fried pancetta complements earthy peas so wonderfully in this cheesy dish. Sunny Anderson unites the two over a bed of al dente fettuccine, finishing it all off with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan.

Food Network's Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

If you’re searching for ways to use up leftover Easter ham, try it diced and combined with peas and plump potato gnocchi. A creamy sauce made of shredded Gruyere gives the dish a much-needed nutty bite.

Tired of pleading with picky eaters? Has All That‘s epic pro-pea anthem failed to sway them time and time again? Never fear: This crowd-pleasing dish of buttery orzo, tender green peas and grated Parmesan will captivate even the fussiest kids.

Are you half as excited about spring as we are? Get tips and recipes on how to use more of the season’s best produce here.

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