Spring Pea Pod and Asparagus Pasta

Italian cannellini beans are the secret ingredient in this pasta. They're pureed to create a light, creamy sauce without the added fat. For a seasonal spring garnish, top with thinly shaved radish slices made with a vegetable peeler.

3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
3/4 cup lower-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
6 oz. rotini (spiral pasta), preferably high-fiber or whole-grain
1 cup diagonally sliced asparagus (1 1/4 inch)
1 cup sugar snap peas, diagonally sliced (1/2 inch)
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (chives, tarragon and/or dill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)

1. Pulse beans in food processor until almost smooth. Add broth; puree until smooth.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus, sugar snap peas and carrots during last 2 minutes of cooking and frozen peas during last 1 minute of cooking. Drain; return pasta and vegetables to pot.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add leeks; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir into pasta mixture.

4. Over low heat, toss pasta mixture with bean mixture, herbs, salt and pepper until coated. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese.

4 (1 1/2-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 305 calories, 6.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 15.5 g protein, 51 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 750 mg sodium, 8.5 g fiber

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