In the spring, I walk around my garden thinking mostly of one thing: How to get all the delicious, thriving herbs and greens from my yard onto my plate. Could a snip of parsley, a handful of spinach, a few strands of oregano, a spring onion and maybe a mushroom or two somehow, magically become dinner? Throw a little pasta under these garden treasures and sprinkle some Parmesan on top and yes, you’ve got an amazingly fresh and tasty meal. So, take a walk through your garden or farmers market or grocery store and see what’s in season that can elevate this traditional white sauce pasta dish to a new level.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 cup spring veggies (try broccoli, asparagus, snow peas)
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (try shiitake or portobella)
- 2 cups dried pasta (try penne, farfalle or fusilli)
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced spring onion, bulb and greens
- 2 cloves garlic, diced (or diced scapes if you have them)
- 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups packed spring greens (such as spinach, kale or chard), washed, dried and cut into ribbons
- 1 batch Super Creamy Alfredo Sauce (can omit garlic, salt and pepper)
- Cook spring veggies according to what you are using. For example, steam broccoli or roast asparagus. Ideally, cook them to about 90 percent, then remove from pan and set aside. You’ll finish cooking them together with the pasta in the end. If using snow peas, no need to cook ahead.
- Heat cast iron skillet to medium high, add sliced mushrooms when the pan is hot and sauté them in dry pan until they are browned and tender, stirring frequently. Remove into bowl and set aside.
- Boil water and follow pasta preparation instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, again heat cast iron skillet to medium-high. Pour in olive oil. Add onion and garlic. After onion begins to soften, add oregano, thyme, rosemary plus salt and pepper. Also add greens (like spinach) and snow peas, if using. Heat just until the herbs and vegetables soften; don’t overcook. Remove into a bowl and set aside.
- Stir up batch of Super Creamy Alfredo Sauce, omitting garlic, salt and pepper as you’ve already seasoned your veggies.
- Toss Alfredo sauce with cooked, drained pasta, in the pasta cooking pot. Stir together all vegetables and herbs. Cook on medium heat until all is hot. Top with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.