Monday, April 19, 2010

Whole Grain Pasta with Asparagus and Peas

This was dinner tonight. We had burgers for lunch (I had blood drawn today after fasting! I was hungry!) so we went meatless for dinner. Lately I've only been having meat at one meal a day. I used to think that I needed it in order to feel satisfied, but I find that I don't really miss it at breakfast or lunch. That tells me that it's pretty much all in my head. Either way, I still love me some beef, pork and chicken, so I'll not be going vegetarian any time soon. It's just a good idea to cut back on the meat sometimes as part of the whole "be good to the Earth" business.

I found this recipe in a magazine - I tore the page out and set it aside. As a result, I have no idea from which magazine it came since I get so many in the mail every month. (all for free too, because I am cheap!) It called for long fusilli pasta, but I didn't have any. I did have whole grain rotini in the cupboard, so that's what we used.

Whole Grain Pasta with Asparagus and Peas

Serves 4

12 oz whole grain rotini
1 lb asparagus (one bunch), trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
4 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved (um, had to leave these out because I ate all of the ones I got at the farmer's market as snacks over the weekend. Oops.)
1 cup frozen peas (we used about a cup and a half to make up for the missing snap peas)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup minced shallots (about two)
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/3 cup grated Parmesan


Bring a 5-6 quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook as package directs, adding asparagus and sugar snaps three minutes before pasta will be done, and frozen peas 2 minutes before done. Drain pasta and vegetable mixture.

While pasta cooks, heat oil in a 10-12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, salt, and pepper; saute 5 minutes until tender. Add stock; heat.

Return pasta and vegetable mixture to the pasta pot. Add shallot mixture and lemon zest; gently toss to mix and coat. Toss with parmesan and serve.

This was very good! I definitely think we'll be making this again - with a few changes. First of all, I think it would be awesome with a few shrimp tossed in, so I'm thinking I will add shrimp to the shallots. Also, I would double the stock and let it reduce a bit before adding it into the pasta. It was a little on the dry side for me as is. Finally, I'd actually remember to set aside some of the sugar snap peas that I buy from the farmer's market for it. I'm telling you, I bought the most amazing ones EVER from McClendon's at the Scottsdale Old Town Farmer's Market. I've been eating them like candy. Heck, even the Bubs is a fan, and he doesn't really care for most of the green stuff.

I'm thinking you could even use vegetable stock or broth and make this vegetarian friendly if you wanted to. I'm particularly proud of this dish because the only thing in it that came from a box was the pasta and although the peas were frozen, they were organic and still simple, real food. The asparagus, shallots, and lemon for the zest were from the farmer's market, the cheese was bought as a chunk and grated at home, the olive oil was local (Queen Creek Olive Mill, y'all!), and the chicken stock was made by yours truly and stashed in the freezer last time I made a whole chicken.


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Blogger Katy and Chris said...

I think I just found dinner for tonight! Thanks!

6:55 AM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

Seriously, when I'm making my to do list for the day, I should just start coming by your blog to see what I want to steal from it and do myself. I'm totally going to make this. We love pasta dishes and asparagus is a fav. I'm totally going to make this, with vegetarian stock, like you said. It'll translate, for sure. Thanks for the din-spiration .... again. :)

7:56 AM  

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