Saturday, May 7, 2011

pasta à la springtime greens and roasted tomatoes!



i stumbled upon this light and delicious pasta while perusing the blog of a long lost neighborhood and elementary school pal. while we used to pass the time together riding bikes down our shared street and swimming in her grandparents' pool, she now hosts a wonderful cooking blog with no shortage of recipes to make your mouth water (don't even get me started on the pictures...).



there's nothing about this dish that doesn't scream springtime. from the bright greens to the grilled tomatoes to the fresh herbs. it's a perfect potluck dish, a great leftover lunch, and... well, you already know how i feel about asparagus.

i made a few changes to the original recipe, omitting the feta cheese and adding some mushrooms and tomatoes. next time i make this dish, i will experiment with substituting in chickpeas for the beans and throwing in other fresh seasonal herbs (chives!) i stumble upon.



ingredients:

2 cups pasta, uncooked
5 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups asparagus, chopped in 2 in. pieces
5 cups spinach, raw and chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, chopped
10-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 can cannellini beans, dried and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup basil, loosely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

get started:

bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. toss in your pasta and cook until al dente.

meanwhile, chop your tomatoes into quarters and place on tin foil or a lightly oiled pan. give a large pinch of salt and pepper to them, and roast in oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. alternatively, you could grill them! given the chance, this will definitely be my route next time around.

chop shallots and garlic. drop a tablespoon of oil into a large skillet. once hot, saute the shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  while the onion is sauteing, rinse and chop asparagus, spinach, and mushrooms.  After onion has browned, add vegetables and cook until just tender and crisp (about 6 minutes). remove from heat.

when your pasta is ready, strain but reserve some of the pasta water. toss the pasta with with the vegetables. add beans, tomatoes, basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. toss!  if you'd like, add a tiny spoonful of pasta water or oil if it's looking dry. eat right away and save the left overs for a refreshing, chilled pasta salad.