Twirl your fork into a bowl of hearty whole wheat fettuccine noodles bursting with bright citrus and briny olives. This easy 30-minute pasta dish tastes like it comes straight from the Mediterranean coast and is packed full of fresh produce that will nourish you from the inside out. The earthy flavor of crisp asparagus spears is paired with hearty edamame for the perfect combination of substance and crunch. Toasted pine nuts provide subtle undertones of warm nuttiness, but you can easily swap them for your favorite seeds if you’re allergic. Squeeze some extra lemon juice over the top before serving, and you’ll be blown away by how a few simple ingredients can create such mouthwatering flavor.

For more 30-minute vegan pasta recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Ellen Boeke,


  • 12 oz. dry whole wheat fettuccine or linguine
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata or Niçoise olives, slivered
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Lemon wedges


  • Cook pasta according to package directions; add edamame the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta mixture.
  • Meanwhile, in an extra-large nonstick skillet cook asparagus over medium-high 4 minutes or until just tender and slightly browned, stirring frequently and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Add pasta mixture, olives, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, and reserved pasta cooking water to skillet; toss to combine. Top with pine nuts. Serve with lemon wedges.

Comments (6)

(4 from 5 votes)

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The picture of this recipe is misleading. The proportions should be very different: half or less the amount of pasta, more vegetables probably broccoli would be good. We doubled the amount of olives and reduced the amount of edamame, based on comments. It still was way too much pasta for the amount of vegetables, at least for our taste. There is not much flavor to the sauce. The overall concept is good, but we thought it could be better with less pasta, more vegetables, and a more creative approach to seasonings.


This was really fast, but as some mentioned, a little dry. I added all of my preserved pasta water, but could have added even more. I would just continue to stir it until it stops absorbing the water - which takes a bit. Might add more lemon zest and juice next time to amp up lemon flavor. Also might reduce the amount of edamame or sub garbanzos. The amount here overwhelmed the asparagus.

Tee Kittle

It's "okay" but it really could use more of a sauce. We added a handful of spinach and next time we want to add more olives and maybe some miso or something the liven it up.


Family favorite - I make this several times a month! Adding in the reserved pasta water helps all the ingredients adhere.

Denise Corklin

Not much flavor per recipe…added lots more olives and lemon. Vegetables and goodies have no adherence to the pasta so it’s all at the bottom of a serving bowl.


Certainly looks better than today's New York Time's p.3 recipe of pasta and Asparagus! Maybe you planned it that way:)

About the Author

Ellen Boeke headshot

About the Author

Ellen Boeke

Ellen Boeke has more than 25 years of experience as a recipe developer and food editor. She holds Bachelor's of Science degrees in consumer food science and journalism from Iowa State University and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Find her on LinkedIn.
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