Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Easy Peasy & Asparagus Pasta

This blogger has now gone where she had never gone before - the land of meat. Well, I didn't really go there but I looked up recipes for Guille, went shopping for prosciutto, and told him how to incorporate it into the recipe. So, I didn't actually touch it but I did cook next to it. Yeah, marriage!

Spring just arrived and brought along some lovely English peas and asparagus.

While my vegetarian version of this pasta was delicious, I'm sure that the prosciutto added an extra level of flavor that many others can appreciate.

Pea & Asparagus Pasta (Prosciutto optional)
Adapted from yumsugar
  • 1 c. shelled fresh peas
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (or 3/4 pound), cut on the diagonal into 2 cm pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups dry bow-tie pasta
  • 1 T. (15 g.) butter
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • About 180 g. prosciutto, cut into ribbons (optional)
  • 1 small onion (can use green onion or shallot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Big pinch of salt (not much needed if using prosciutto)
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (substitute with stock if you don't have any on hand)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1-2 T. lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the chopped asparagus. After 2 minutes, add the peas. Cook another 2-4 minutes - until the veggies reach your desired texture - they should be tender but still have some pop. Remove veggies using a slotted spoon and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to shock. Return the veggie water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, reserve pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan (or 2 pans if you're making 2 versions), melt butter and oil over medium heat. If using prosciutto, add now and cook for 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender (5-8 minutes), add salt and pepper. If using wine, add and turn up heat to medium-high for 3 minutes, then reduce heat back to medium. Add stock, cream, peas, asparagus, parsley, and optional lemon juice (Gui did not want lemon added to his version). Toss to coat and add additional salt and/or pepper, if needed.

Add in the pasta and toss to coat. If needed, add as much pasta water as you like. Stir in parmesan cheese. Here are both of our pots - we split the recipe to make half in each (that's about 90 g. of prosciutto in Gui's pan):

Both of us ended up with leftovers - yum! If you're making the veggie version, I would add either wine or lemon juice (along with a little lemon zest) for flavor, as using just stock and cream will leave the flavor a little flat. The butter (double the oil) and cream (replace with stock or pasta water) can be left out for a healthier dish.

Since we used the same recipe to make 2 versions, all we needed was one extra pan to each get what we wanted. It seems there's room in the kitchen for both of our styles.