Springtime Pasta

Look what's up in the garden! Now it's time to weed!

The happiest of the springtime flowers! Now it’s time to weed!

So I know I said I was going to take a break some time soon, but I couldn’t resist giving you this recipe I made that is picture-perfect for this time of year!

I was driving home from work one late Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and of course, the question of what’s for dinner came to my mind. At the end of the week, a martini and some cheese and crackers is a sufficient dinner for me, but of course, nutritionally it should be a bit more substantial. One game I like to play with myself is to figure out what I can create for dinner with what I have on hand before I get to the grocery store in case I need to stop. I knew I had some asparagus in the fridge and some pasta in the cupboard. A stop at the grocery store for a shallot,  some frozen peas, and goat cheese and I knew what dinner was going to be, Springtime Pasta!

I always wonder when I see cooking magazines and their “seasons.” Yes, peas are a spring vegetable, but in Vermont, that’s June not April. But frozen peas are great, they are always fresh and you don’t have to shell them! Shallots sautéed in a little bit of butter and olive oil lend just the right amount of flavor, and you can always substitute red onion. Of course, with most of my pasta dishes a little bit of white wine or vermouth is a tasty addition, but you can leave it out if you want. I had pappardelle in the cupboard, but I would recommend perhaps linguine instead; pappardelle is long, very thick egg noodles. A little too long for me, you can’t wind the pasta on your fork. The topping of goat cheese added just a little bit of creaminess to the warm noodles, but you can use whatever you prefer, or leave it out. And per usual, measurements here always are a guideline; you can use more asparagus, peas, leave one out, or use less pasta!

I eat asparagus on a daily basis this time of year, with my eggs in the morning, on my salad for lunch, roasted or in pasta for dinner. It just tastes like spring!


Springtime Pasta

1 small shallot, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Butter and extra virgin olive oil for sauteing
3 cups chopped asparagus
½ cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
¾ cup chicken broth
Splash of white wine or vermouth (optional)
About 8 ounces dried pasta
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cheese for topping, if desired

  1. Fill a Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and boil for about three minutes or until tender. With a slotted spoon, take the asparagus out of the water and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt some butter and olive oil together. Add the shallot and garlic and cook at a medium heat until soft. Add the chicken broth and wine, if using, and bring to a boil. When it is reduced a little, add the cooked asparagus and peas. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions (or 7-8 minutes for al dente). Drain, and add the pasta to the sauce. Toss gentle, add a squirt of lemon juice, and serve. Top with cheese if using.

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