Spring Time Italian Recipes

Need Spring time Italian recipes? As the weather starts to warm, dinners get lighter, and these spring time Italian recipes are perfect meals that can be made in under a half hour.  The pasta dish showcases asparagus, which is in its prime in spring time.  It is a lighter version of the typical Italian spaghetti dish that is a favorite wintertime dinner.  Try these healthy Italian recipes that require very little cooking.  It's an easy way to add a dose of spring vegetables to the menu.

Pasta with Asparagus and Tomatoes.  This Spring time Italian recipe is light and delicious.  The use of seasonal vegetables, such as asparagus, when cooking truly enhances any dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts water
  • Salt
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta (corkscrew or angel hair)
  • 4 medium fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh basil, leaves torn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese (parmesan or asiago)

Directions:

  1. Put water in a large stockpot and add a tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to boil.
  2. When water boils, add asparagus and cover. Cook for three minutes.  
  3. Remove asparagus with tongs or a large slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over asparagus, season with salt and pepper and toss. Set aside.
  4. Pour pasta into boiling water and stir. Cook according to package directions. Most pastas cook in about eight or nine minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil  in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour olive oil over, add asparagus and its juice. Toss to combine.  
  6. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.  Drain pasta well and add to tomato mixture.
  7. Top with grated cheese and pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Toss to combine.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serves 4.

Tips: A dry corkscrew pasta made from vegetables can be found in better markets. If you can find it, it is excellent in this recipe. More olive oil may be added in last step if needed. Use good-quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. Use only ripe tomatoes. If you can't find them, skip them all together and substitute olives or artichoke hearts.

 

Prosciutto-Apple Omelet.  A light omelette is the perfect meal for a spring time meal. The use of prosciutto turns this omelette into something you can imagine eating sitting outside in an Italian villa. Change up your usual dinner options and serve this omelette with a spring salad and a glass of white wine.  This omelette works morning, noon, and night.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan-Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 oz. Prosciutto
  • 4-5 slices green apple (such as Granny Smith)

Directions:

  1. Put eggs, water, salt & pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk together until egg yolks are broken and well incorporated.
  2. Heat small skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
  3. Pour egg mixture into skillet.  
  4. Using a thin rubber spatula, gently lift edges of omelet as it starts to cook.  Tip pan so that uncooked egg mixture spills under eggs and into bottom of skillet.  Continue lifting and tipping until all the uncooked egg mixture is gone from the top of the omelet.
  5. Spread cheese, Prosciutto and apples over one half of omelet, and cook until cheese melts.
  6. Using spatula, flip empty side of omelet over top of filled side and slide out of pan into plate.
  7. Serve immediately.

Serves 1.

Tips: Make omelets one at a time for as many as you need. They may be held briefly in a warm (200-degree oven). Prosciutto is an Italian-style ham that is very salty and thinly sliced. Find it at the meat counter, or ask the butcher. Because Prosciutto is salty, use a light hand to salt the eggs.

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