Friday, April 6, 2012

Creamy Garlic Spring Pasta

This time of year I cannot get enough of asparagus, peas and other spring vegetables. I cannot actually buy local versions of these yet in Colorado because we have a short, late growing season, but my body just starts craving them this time of year so the grocery store version will just have to do (which is at least a little more local than the rest of year) I have been eating as seasonally and locally as possible for awhile now, and it is funny how my body has learned to respond to that. I was just in FL and my mom was serving watermelon and cantaloupe almost everyday and it felt so wrong to eat for some reason. Those fruits are such a part of the summer tradition, it is hard to eat them any other time of year. Same goes for asparagus. I cook with asparagus at almost every meal during the months of April and May and then, I'm pretty much done with asparagus for the year. And tomatoes!!! Ever since I started gardening 6 years ago there is no way I can eat a store bought tomato!!! Truly fresh produce that literally goes from ground to table puts grocery store versions to shame, not only in taste but nutrients as well! Of course we definitely buy other produce that is not in season or grown locally (if any of you have read Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, they did just that...they ate only local, in season food products for an entire year. Amazing book that is very informative and inspirational but reads like a novel) but I have programmed my body to eat somewhat seasonally and it is kind of interesting to see my body go through physical cravings for certain produce that I have not had for a is kind of exciting! Each time a new season comes around I pull out my favorite seasonal recipes and get so excited to start cooking! Dear asparagus, it is so nice to enjoy your tender, crisp stalks of deliciousness once again!!! By the way, this recipe is super fast and super favorite kind!

Creamy Garlic Spring Pasta
serves 6

1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
2-4 garlic cloves pressed, minced or grated
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 -1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1/2 cup toasted pinenuts
1 7oz container plain greek yogurt
12 oz pasta (I use brown rice elbow macaroni)
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
olive oil
feta cheese

Put water on to boil. Once you get your noodles in, make the sauce. Mix garlic, 1-2 tsp salt, juice of 1 lemon, yogurt, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir until well combined. Once the pasta has only 5 minutes left of cooking time, add the asparagus and peas to the pot. Once finished, drain and add back to the pot (make sure you reserve 1/2 cup of water) Add in the sauce, water, spinach, and pinenuts. Top with feta cheese and freshly ground black pepper and serve with your favorite salad!

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