Penne Pasta with White Asparagus and Rocket Salad

December 11, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
Filed Under

Chef Rene and his sonWhen the Chefs Bérard of our culinary vacation “Cooking Passport to Provence” won a Michelin Star for their restaurant we were thrilled, and celebrated it with the wonderful recipe. For many years Chef René Bérard taught our culinary travelers about French gastronomy. Although he has since retired and no longer offers our clients cooking classes, his legacy (and his restaurant) continue with his son!

One of the hallmarks of Chef Bérard’s cooking was always the use of extremely fresh, seasonal ingredients, usually harvested from the extensive garden of their bastide. If you can find fresh seasonal produce – including fresh beans – at your local farmer’s market, you will taste the difference and be happy you went to the extra effort! If you have to use dried beans, you will need to soak them overnight and adjust the cooking time, but the dish will simply not be the same.

See all our cooking vacations in France. 

Penne Pasta with White Asparagus and Rocket Salad

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Boil

Ingredients:Fresh white asparagus at the local farmer's market.

  • 500 grs. Penne Pasta
  • 8 tbsp of Olive oil
  • 16 tips of white asparagus
  • 1 liter of chick broth
  • 1 slice minced onion
  • 400 grs. fresh kidney beans or Borlotti beans
  • 4 handfulls of rocket greens (arugula), cleaned and stems removed
  • Juice of 1 lemon


1. Bring water to boil then cook the fresh beans for 5 to 10 minutes (the length of time will vary according to the beans, but theyy must remain firm). Cool them off under trickling coldFresh beans from the local farmer's market. water then peel them.

2. Cut the asparagus keeping approx. 5 cm. in length and roast them in olive oil.

3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Add the pasta and onion and cook over high heat and stir for 3 minutes.

Dried penne pasta ready for a cooking class with The International Kitchen.4. Pour in the chicken broth and half the lemon juice, and continue cooking until the Penne pasta is “Al dente”.

5. Add the asparagus tips that are already cooked.

6. When the pasta has absorbed all the broth, add the other half of the lemon juice, the kidney beans and the rocket salad (the stalks having been removed).

Fresh arugula, or rocket greens. 7. Mix it all together and serve.

Cook with us on a culinary vacation in France!

By Peg Kern

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