Spring is the season that brings renewal, rejuvenation and regrowth after a cold winter. Longer, more temperate days provide us with a plethora of fresh produce born in California. Chefs and cookbook authors Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny take full advantage of our region’s agricultural riches by creating healthy, flavorful and fresh farm-to-table recipes year-round.
One of Neft and Kenny’s spring recipes, from their latest cookbook, is a delicious vegetarian pasta that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner and hearty enough to serve guests over the weekend. Pair the dish with a crisp pinot grigio or chilled sauvignon blanc and enjoy “The Art of Real Food.”
Asparagus, Mushroom and Spring Onion Pasta (serves 4)
1/2 cup fava beans, shucked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup spring onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, halved
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup snap peas
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
5 ounces whole grain linguini
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Blanch shucked fava beans by cooking in salted, boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove, cool in ice water. Peel and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat oil and cook onions and garlic until fragrant. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until tender. Add asparagus, cook until fork tender. Add peas and fava beans. Add lemon juice and butter, then salt and pepper to taste.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain. Toss vegetables with pasta, Parmesan and parsley before serving.