Serves 4 to 6.
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
12 ounces bowtie pasta
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, chopped into 1-inch pieces with tips left whole
1 cup peas
1 cup fresh cooking greens (e.g., spinach, chard, dandelion), stems removed
2 tbsp olive oil
10 ounces smoked ham, such as Black Forest, diced (optional)
1 large leek (white and pale green parts) or sweet onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup lemon crema (see recipe at end of article)
2 tbsp coarse brown mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Garnish: 1/4 cup chives, chopped
Bring stock and mushrooms to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook for 7 minutes. Add asparagus, peas and greens, and cook 3 minutes more, or until pasta is al dente. Drain the liquid and return the pasta and veggies to the pot with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
Heat remaining oil in a deep skillet, then sauté ham (if using), leek and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the crema, mustard, stock and mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes. Toss with pasta mixture, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.
Eat In Season: Asparagus