Pappardelle with shaved asparagus, broad beans, marjoram and pea purée


Asparagus and pappardelle make a winning combination, married perfectly together in this simple pappardelle recipe from Geoffrey Smeddle, developed originally for the Sunday Herald. Together with earthy broad beans and fresh marjoram, this pasta dish is a perfect way to celebrate the days of spring and early summer. To serve, add some shaved cheese on top; Parmesan and Pecorino Romano make lovely options, as does British Old Winchester if you’d like to keep this recipe vegetarian.

Type: Main

Serves: 4


  • 500g of fresh peas in the pod
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 500g of fresh broad beans, still in the large outer pod
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 320g of pappardelle
  • 10g of fresh marjoram
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • olive oil


Step 1.

Make the pea purée in advance. Shell the peas and discard the pod. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the peas for three minutes


  • 500g of fresh peas in the pod
  • salt
Step 2.

Drain the peas, reserving 1 cup the cooking water, and place into ice water

Step 3.

Place the peas in a blender with some of the cooking water, add a pinch of salt and sugar then process to a purée


  • salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar
Step 4.

Add just enough double cream to help it process, then set aside


  • 150ml of double cream
Step 5.

Shell the broad beans from the outer pod then cook in boiling salted water for one minute before draining and refreshing in ice-cold water


  • salt
  • 500g of fresh broad beans
Step 6.

Once cold, drain and pop off the outer pod from each bean then set aside

Step 7.

Set aside six spears of asparagus per person. Cut off the tips and keep them to use as a garnish. Add the remainder of those spears to the others, which will be used to make ribbons


  • 2 bunches of asparagus

Step 8.

Trim the woody base from the asparagus – this will be about an inch or so at the base of each spear, which can be reserved for soup

Step 9.

Using a swivel-head peeler and working from the head of the spear to the base, shave ribbons of asparagus and place them in a bowl

Step 10.

Bring a large pan of water and a second smaller one to the boil and salt both well


  • salt

Step 11.

Gently reheat the pea purée in a small pan, taste for seasoning and set aside in a warm place

Step 12.

Place the pasta in the large pan of boiling water and cook until al dente. Boil the reserved asparagus tips in the smaller pan for four minutes


  • 320g of pappardelle
Step 13.

Drain the pasta when done, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, along with the cooking liquid, broad beans, a dash of olive oil, half the asparagus ribbons and half the fresh marjoram


  • olive oil
  • 5g of fresh marjoram
Step 14.

Season with salt and add half the asparagus spear tips. Divide the pea purée between four plates, making a round bed in the centre of each


  • salt
  • black pepper
Step 15.

Pile the pasta in the centre of each then finish with the rest of the shaved asparagus and the asparagus tips

Step 16.

Add one last dash of salt and pepper and then scatter the rest of the marjoram over the top


  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 5g of fresh marjoram

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