Last week definitely felt like the finale of winter and the burgeoning of spring.
This week however, has all my daffodils and crocuses in a tizzy.
With a high of 45 degrees today with a light rain, I was not thinking of digging, planting and mulching, that’s for sure.
Instead I was thinking of curling up with a good book, and building a huge roaring fire in the fireplace.
In the kitchen, we are supposed to be putting away all those recipes that call for slow braising, roasting and stewing.
In favor of lighter, cleaner, fresher tastes.
With that in mind (and the low temps) we opted for a compromise last night.
Petite spring peas and vibrant asparagus pay homage to springtime, add some earthy mushrooms and a hefty dose of cream and cheese and we hopefully bid adieu to winter.
A ying and yang of the seasons if you will.
- 1 pound box of penne rigate
- 1 bunch thin aparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle for grilling
- 3 medium shallots, minced
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 1/4 cups cream
- 1 cup fresh baby peas, or 10 oz frozen bag
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
Preheat cast iron grill pan. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill over med-high heat until just tender and lightly charred approx. 4-6 minutes. You can also place on sheet pan and broil.
In large deep skillet add olive oil and shallots and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 min.
Add mushroom and season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring until mushrooms are browned and tender 8-10 minutes.
Add cream and peas and bring to boil, simmer until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile bring large pot of water to boil, add large handful of kosher salt, return to boil.
Add pasta and cook according to package directions then drain. Reserve 3/4 cup of cooking water.
Add cooked pasta to skillet along with the asparagus and grated cheese and toss well.
Add some of the cooking water and simmer until pasta is nicely coated.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.