Easter pasta recipes should celebrate spring, brightness, and freshness. Here is one that is light, with a focus on vegetables. This adaptation of traditional spring pasta focuses on carrots, yellow bell pepper, and asparagus, an excellent choice for those Lent vegetarians.
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large carrots, sliced thin or cut into matchsticks
- 12 thin asparagus spears, bottoms cut off
- 1 large yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup fresh shelled green peas (or frozen)
- The juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta and vegetables simultaneously. Refer to the package directions for pasta cooking times.
- Blanch the carrots in boiling water for two minutes. Drain and set them in cold water afterwards.
- Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and set them with the carrots.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillets. Add the drained carrots and asparagus and saute them for two minutes.
- Add the pepper and peas to the pan. Saute for another two minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, zest and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for two more minutes.
- Stir in basil and half of the parmesan cheese.
- Serve the vegetables immediately over the hot cooked fettuccine. Topped the plated pasta with the other half of the parmesan cheese.
- For a creamy sauce, add a half cup to a cup of heavy cream to the sauteed vegetables and simmer until slightly thickened.
- Add cooked shrimp or chicken for a heartier meal.
- The blanching step gives the carrots and asparagus a jump-start before sauteing; it makes it easier to quick-cook harder vegetables. If you choose to skip this step, slice them very thin.
- Don't forget to check on the pasta while cooking the vegetables.