May 5, 2008

Spring Asparagus Pasta

Ahhhhh……Spring is in the air and the thought of fresh produce is just around the corner. Farmers’ markets have some produce right now, but in about three weeks lots of produce and fruits will be ripe for the pickin’.

I spent the past weekend on the farm with my parents. My husband was at Table Rock Lake pre-fishing for a tournament he has this weekend. So, me and the kids (Rudy & Liz) made our way to the farm on Thursday night. Lots went on this weekend….

My hometown farmers’ market celebrated it’s opening ceremony this past weekend and I attended. I also visited the Simpson Strawberry Farm to tour the family’s farm/Agritourism operation. My mother and I painted one of the bathrooms my parent’s are remodeling. (My parents are crazy. Seriously. They are building a lake house, remodeling their house on the farm, putting in a HUGE garden, trying to keep up with our registered Charolais and Angus cattle and landscaping the front of the farm house.) Why on earth would anyone put all of this on their shoulders at once I don’t know. But, they are.

My mother was very thankful I came down and helped her paint. She is already planning the next room she wants to paint…God love her!

I do have a point to all of this….this weekend was about the most relaxing I’ve had a quite awhile. One main part I love about going to the farm- no cell phone service! Peace, quite…all you hear is the cows moo-ing and the birds singing. Oh, one more thing I love about my parents house- no internet. Even when I want to check my email, I can’t. How wonderful is that!

Here’s a recipe that’s in-season right now that makes a great weeknight meal. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Spring Asparagus Pasta
2 lbs. of asparagus
salt for water
2 T. olive oil
8 cloves garlic shaved thin and then julienned
1 C. shallots peeled and julienned
pinch of crushed red peppers
2 lemons juiced
3/4 C. fresh chives chopped fine
1 lb. angel hair pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Rinse the asparagus and remove the bottom inch of the stem. Cut the tips into 2 inch pieces. Cut the remaining piece julienned. Set the asparagus aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes in olive oil, until tender but not browned. Add the lemon juice and reduce by half.

Drop the pasta and the asparagus tips into the boiling water. Cook until the pasta is ala dente, about 3 - 4 minutes. Drain for a few minutes and add to the pan.

While the pasta is cooking add the remaining asparagus to the pan with the shallots and saute until they begin to wilt. Toss in the chives, the pasta and cook until the remaining water has evaporated. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 - 6.

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