A Pasta Dish Perfect for Early Spring

A few weeks ago while taking a Zoom cooking class at The Baker’s Pin (in Northampton, MA), I watched as Barbara Morse, my talented friend and fellow cooking teacher, explained the art of making pasta by hand. Every recipe looked and sounded delicious, but the one that I fell for hardest was farfalle tossed with a simple Taleggio cheese sauce, sprinkled with crispy pancetta and toasted breadcrumbs. Fast forward a few weeks later. At the market I gathered the ingredients for the dish, but because I had a busy schedule, I purchased good imported pasta, foregoing making my own. I opted for linguine in place of farfalle, and also added a bunch of slim asparagus to my cart—a reminder that the calendar had recently declared that spring had arrived.

At home, I quickly prepared Barbara’s glorious Taleggio sauce and set it aside as she suggested. Then I cooked my purchased pasta according to the package directions, and added the asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch slices to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking. After draining the linguine and asparagus. I tossed them both in the cheese sauce, and then mounded them in warm bowls along with garnishes of sautéed pancetta, fresh chopped thyme, and toasted breadcrumbs. For those of us who live in New England, this is an ideal dish for early spring when the thermometer hovers in the 20s some days and climbs to the 60s on others. It is a definite winner no matter what the weather outdoors.

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