PHILADELPHIA, PA — According to the calendar, last week marked the first full week of spring! And it’s a good thing, too, because winter was just sooo cold and blustery and snowy and….oh wait, so was last week. Soooo I guess Mother Nature needs to get some warm weather “practise” in before we all get to start enjoying the season, huh?
Well in addition to thawing out, there’s something else I really look forward to this time of year: spring vegetables. Early season choices are typically light and delicate (both in flavour and texture) – sort of like “newborns” of the vegetable world.
This week’s recipe is a perfect combination of comfort food and elegance. It highlights two spring staples – asparagus and summer squash. Serve this dish with a simple salad and a glass of white wine, then sit back and wait for the flowers to start blooming!
CREAMY PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND PEAS
adapted from “Vegan Express” by Nava Atlas
12 oz farfalle or rotini pasta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz slender asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium yellow summer squash, quartered and thinly sliced
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp lemon juice Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, trim bottoms off of asparagus spears and discard. Cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.
3. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan. Add garlic and saute over low heat until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
4. Add 1/4 cup water and the asparagus, peas and squash to the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender-crisp.
5. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and cream. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.
6. Combine the cooked pasta and the vegetable mixture in a large bowl, toss gently. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
photo credit: tcweb.tarrantcounty.com