I am not sure if it was all the green dishes posted online, Foodie’s email asking what dishes represent spring, my mom mentioning how the Orthodox Easter is approaching and this is the meatless week preceding the vegan long fast or the lonely zucchini in my fridge, but all of the sudden I was craving a veggie dish and more exactly one with asparagus and the aforementioned zucchini.
I already had the zucchini, but I had to go to the store and pick up the craved asparagus. I surveyed the other ingredient options in the produce section and left home with some mushrooms, spring onions, peas (unfortunately no fresh ones so I had to settle for canned) and cilantro to top my dish (basil is too expensive and not nearly as used as cilantro in my kitchen). I ended up using cream for the sauce since I didn’t have much time nor enough tomatoes, but I think it would go well with a fresh tomato sauce made with roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion for a vegan, healthier dish…maybe next time 😉
Ingredients (serves 2-4):
- 1-2 Tb vegetable or olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 lb asparagus, ends snapped off, cut into 1-2″ chunks
- 1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced
- 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 5 spring onions, sliced
- 1/2 can peas (~ 7 oz)
- 1 Tb butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4+ cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lb penne pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro, chopped
Heat up oil in a saute pan/skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic until fragrant (1-2 min). Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add asparagus and zucchini.
Cook until tender (5-7 min). Meanwhile cook your pasta according to directions. Add tomatoes and spring onions and cook until tomatoes softened, 2-3 min. Add butter and stir until melted. Add peas, cream and parmesan cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Add pasta and mix until the pasta is coated with sauce.
Serve topped with a bit more parmesan and freshly chopped cilantro.
This was a lovely dish, and with all the veggies I didn’t even miss the meat 😉 Despite the few snowflakes still hanging around Chicago, this dish definitely tasted like spring and got me excited about all the fresh produce that will shortly hit the stores and farmers’ markets!