Monday, May 28, 2012

Snap Peas and Asparagus Penne

Before I share this recipe, consider this great excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver:

"If we are blessed with an abundance of choices about food, we are surely also obliged to consider the responsibility implicit in our choices.  There has never been a more important time to think about where our food comes from.  We could make for ourselves a safer nation, overnight, simply by giving more support to our local food economies and learning ways of eating and living around a table that reflect the calendar.  Our families, of course, will never need to be as beholden to the seasons as the Native Americans who called February by the name "Hungry Month," and I'm grateful for that.  But we can try to live close enough to the land's ordinary time that we notice when something is out of place and special."

If you are making an effort to live "around a table that reflect[s] the calendar," consider putting this recipe on the table this week:  Sugar Snap Peas and Asparagus Penne.  In our area both snap peas and asparagus are in season, and we've got so many peas right now, we're struggling to eat them all.

Sometimes simple is just best.  This recipe is so easy, and it's simplicity lets the local, in-season flavors of the asparagus and snap peas really shine. 

1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
8 oz. (or about 2.5 cups) of sugar snap peas, trimmed
8 oz. dry penne pasta
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. grated or shredded Parmesan (we used shredded -- it's what I had)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.  Add peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions (I was able to boil my veggies in a big pot with a strainer inside so that all I had to do was lift out the strainer once veggies were done, and I had veggie-flavored, boiling water ready to use for the pasta.)  Drain pasta.

Place pasta in the bowl with asparagus and peas.  Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.


You could get really creative with this and kick up the flavor factor by adding some bacon, crushed red pepper flakes, cherry tomatoes, or maybe some sun-dried tomatoes.  Because tomatoes are not yet "in season" at our house and the kids won't eat anything too spicy, we just went basic, and it was great!

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