There's a double standard in my household.
Whenever Ed even thinks I'm creatively substituting in a recipe - he gets a little fear in his eyes. Sure - there have been some minor disasters in the past (I fully admit cod isn't a substitute for halibut, broth and stock are not interchangeable, and my "garam masala" blend isn't as good as a professional blend), but on the whole my creative cooking has turned out perfectly fine. There really is no need to fear.
On the flip side, Ed substitutes with impunity. Zucchini is substituted for eggplant, whole wheat flour is substituted for white flour, lobster is substituted for crab. For some reason, he just thinks he does it better than me.
To make it even worse, if Ed isn't able to ferret out an ingredient for me or he knows there's a similar ingredient languishing in our pantry - it then becomes okay for me to make a creative substitution. For example, the dish pictured above (whole-wheat shells with asparagus, peas, and mint) called for baby peas. Ed insisted the freezer-burned lump of peas we currently had was an acceptable substitute. Sigh.
Anyhoo (pointless rant finished) - the dish still turned out fabulously and tasted oh so fresh (asparagus is in season!! woohoo!) and healthy. I'm usually not a fan of whole wheat pasta, but I think it added a nice chewiness to the dish. Just make sure you don't overcook the pasta.
P.S. Thanks for sending me the recipe Mo!