Saturday, October 6, 2007

Spring time is here...

There are several things that signify the beginning of spring and the end of a bitter and cold winter. Firstly the flowers and birds that have been hiding somewhere for months all come out and give our sense of sight and smell a little nudge. More importantly, the appearance of broadbeans and asparagus at the green grocer, is THE definitive sign that spring is finally with us. And when asaparagus hits a dollar a bunch, I know it is time to cook some sweet, in-season asparagus.

During the week it is just too hard to try anything too complicated and sometimes, the only thing I can make myself whip up is a simple pasta. Luckily asparagus doesnt need a long time to cook and really shines in pasta dishes. Coupled with in-season peas, preferably from the pod if you can find it, this pasta is quick and satisfying...
Pasta with Asparagus, pancetta and peas

1 pack of fettucini (next time i think i would use a smaller pasta like orriechette or spirals)

300g mushrooms, sliced

2 bunches asaparagus, washed, woody end snapped off, and cut into 2 cm pieces

250g peas

8 rashers of pancetta, sliced finiely

white wine

thin cream (I used low fat but I dont like overly creamy pastas)

1 red onion, sliced


pouring cream

Cook the pasta in lots of boiling water until cooked. Drain.

Meanwhile, fry garlic, red onion, and chopped pancetta in olive oil for a few minutes until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add white wine, turn up heat and let sizzle for a minute. Add asparagus, peas and cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until asparagus is cooked, only a few minutes. Season, add to drained pasta, mix well and serve with parmasen cheese.


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