Add a Little Spring to Family Mealtime with Idaho® Potatoes

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Penne with Arugula Pesto, Idaho® Red Potatoes and Spring Vegetables is a colorful side dish that pairs well with grilled meats or veggies.

Eagle, Idaho, May 6, 2022--Spring has sprung, and it’s time to add fresh seasonal veggies to your menu. With year-round availability, versatile Idaho potatoes pair perfectly with even the most delicate produce like baby peas and pencil-thin asparagus. For healthy and delicious recipe inspiration visit the Idaho Potato Commission’s Spring to It recipe collection. It boasts a variety of colorful plates that can be served with any protein…from cheeseburgers to grilled shrimp!

Here are a few favorites:

Middle Eastern Potato Snack Platter: Baked Idaho potato wedges, tossed in olive oil and aromatic za’atar seasoning, are arranged on a serving platter with a variety of sliced veggies like cucumbers, spinach, carrots, pita bread rounds, hummus and a tangy cilantro tahini dipping sauce. 

Potato, Leek and Spring Onion Soup: Creamy and satisfying, each spoonful of this savory soup is chock full of flavor. Idaho potatoes, leeks and spring onions are combined with chicken stock, garlic puree, heavy cream and watercress, creating a velvety bowl of deliciousness. 

Savory Goat Cheese and Thyme Idaho® Potato Pizza: Thinly sliced Idaho russet and red potatoes, goat cheese, a sliced red onion, fresh thyme and minced garlic are the perfect combinations of toppings on this unique pizza pie. 

Spring Vegetarian Poutine with Fresh Spring Peas, Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Dill Bechamel: Poutine is a popular potato dish that originated in Quebec, a French-speaking region in Eastern Canada. Traditionally made with French fries, gravy and cheese curds, this spin on the classic side dish includes spring vegetables, fresh, piping hot French fries and house-made cheese curds.

If you’re looking for inspiration for tonight’s meal, we recommend Penne with Arugula Pesto, Idaho® Red Potatoes and Spring Vegetables. Penne pasta is combined with a medley of Idaho red potatoes, asparagus, sugar snap peas and olive oil, tossed in a silky arugula pesto sauce.


  • 4 ounces penne pasta

  • 6 ounces Idaho red potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)

  • 4 ounces asparagus

  • ½ cup sugar snap peas

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

Arugula Pesto 

  • 1 cup packed arugula

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes and use tongs to remove to an ice bath. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. 

  2. Add additional water to the pot if necessary and bring to a boil before adding the pasta and potatoes. Cook the pasta according to package directions, usually 9 to 11 minutes which is sufficient time to cook the potatoes al dente as well. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Remove the potatoes and set aside to cool– they should be firm and will continue to cook. You don’t want them to be soft or you won’t be able to slice them. Do not rinse the pasta- the sauce will coat the pasta instead of it sliding off. 

  3. Meanwhile, add all the pesto ingredients and half of the olive oil to a mini food processor. Pulse several times, stopping to scrape the mixture from the sides once or twice and then add the remaining olive oil. Pulse until fully incorporated. 

  4. Leaving the skin on, slice the potatoes into ¼ inch slices using a mandoline or a sharp knife. You may also peel the potatoes if you prefer them that way. 

  5. Heat the pot with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Transfer the pasta to the pot and stir to break up clumps and coat with olive oil. Add the cooking liquid and mix in the pesto. Gently fold in the asparagus and snap peas. Reheat for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice to heat evenly. Serve in pasta bowls and garnish with a few shelled peas and toasted pine nuts. 

About The Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiates them from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit