I promise I wasn’t foreshadowing last post when I talked about vegetables.
In fact, I had no plan whatsoever to make anything with vegetables in it. I was more focused on a bread or a chocolate or a bread/chocolate combination type dish to make…but I am SO glad I got railroaded into making dinner last night.
It was just plain exceptional. (Do you see the bold and italics – that means something around here. 🙂 )
(Exceptional and full of veggies – you know it’s a winner.)
Spring Vegetable Pasta, adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 T fresh mint leaves, minced
2 T fresh chives, minced
1/2 t finely grated lemon zest
6 T extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2 T and 4 T
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 lb asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 c frozen baby peas, thawed
1 lb pasta (I used farfalle, they suggest campanelle.)
1 c dry white wine
4 c vegetable broth mixed with 1 c water, hot
2 T lemon juice
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
ground black pepper
Combine mint, chives, and lemon zest in small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 2 T oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add sliced leeks and a pinch of salt; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until leeks begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add peas and continue to cook for 1 minute. Transfer veggies to plate and set aside. Wipe out pot.
Heat remaining 4 T oil in empty Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add the hot broth mixture and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove pot from heat, stir in lemon juice, Parmesan, half of herb mixture, and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with the rest of the herb mixture.
Okay, I admit it, I was a little skeptical about this dish when I was making it. Not only was it full of vegetables, but I would be cooking the pasta like risotto – and I was unsure what it would turn out like. But, like I said above, I was talked into making this, mostly since Hubs was stuck at work late wouldn’t be able to make dinner.
(We’re trying to get back into meal planning, so this dish was on the list for yesterday.)
I had already chopped my veggies and was sautéing away when Hubs got home.
And then, he couldn’t help himself… he insisted on being my assistant (say that five times fast). But actually, it was kind of fun, because basically, I just got to boss him around – and he took it! (And I kind of forgot to prep everything beforehand – which I realized is a necessity with this meal.)
Anyways, this turned out to be easier than it looks – just be prepared that there is a lot of stirring.
And the taste – this dish is completely out of this world! It tastes all buttery, but there’s no butter involved…and the lemon just brightens everything. The veggies add a very light taste to the creamy flavored pasta. Overall, one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had!
I have no doubts we will be making this again – Hubs is already planning what he’ll do when he makes it.
Though I think it’s perfect the way it is.
Happy Hump day all!