In the Kitchen
Technically at least, spring has now begun. We may be jumping the gun a little, but hopefully the first spring vegetables, especially asparagus, are not too far away, and our minds can turn to delicious spring recipes like this simple pasta dish.
Like many pasta dishes there are really very few "hard and fast" rules.
Everything from the type of pasta (although fettuccine is the traditional choice) can be varied according to how you feel, what you have on hand and/or what vegetables are in season, but we think it is particularly good made with fresh, sweet asparagus and other delicious new season's vegetables.
For 4 servings:
about 2 cups fresh seasonal vegetables (try a selection of asparagus, baby carrots, mange tout or snow peas, tender little broad beans, scalopini or zucchini, broccoli florets etc.)
400g fresh fettuccine
3/4-1 cup cream
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
1/2 cup (about 30g) freshly grated parmesan
about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1-2 Tbsp pesto
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
extra parmesan and/or chopped basil to serve
Fresh pasta cooks quickly, so prepare all the vegetables before you start cooking. Cut asparagus spears into 4-5 cm lengths and other selected vegetables into similar sized pieces. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil then add the pasta. Place the vegetables, slower cooking ones first (carrots, broccoli etc), in a sieve or steamer over the pasta and cook until just tender.
While the pasta and vegetables cook, heat another pot or pan and add the cream and wine, bring to the boil and allow to reduce down a little. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan and basil or pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the vegetables and pasta, add the olive oil and toss to coat. Add the sauce then stir gently or toss again. Serve immediately garnished with some additional parmesan and/or basil and accompanied with some good, crusty bread or rolls.
- © Fairfax NZ News