Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Pasta Primavera

With recent high pressure systems over the UK bringing unseasonably warm weather, Spring has most definitely sprung. The trees are very nearly green, the flush of cherry blossom is blowing away, and spring flowers are blooming everywhere. With the British asparagus season just starting, I'm in nearly the perfect location to take advantage of some of the best spears in the country - I'm just down the road from Evesham.
Now the weekend before last I tried my hand at making fresh pasta - it worked well, but I didn't roll it out thinly enough and it *really* didn't look pretty enough to share pics. Fortunately I froze some of the dough, which meant tonight I had fun rolling it out really thinly. Result? pretty damn good pasta, even if I do say so myself - will share the recipe another time.

The sauce recipe is loosely based on one I saw on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen show, but makes more use of the seasonal, spring vegetables I have to hand. Oh yeah, and guess who's still trying to finish up the purple sprouting broccoli? ;-)

Enough fresh spaghetti for one person
6 Asparagus Spears (chopped into 1" lengths)
4 Purple Sprouting Broccoli Spears (chopped into 1" lengths)
1 large handful Frozen Peas (fresh would have been better, but I didn't have any)
3 slices Prosciutto Ham (cut into small pieces)
2 tbsp Grated Parmesan (plus a little more to serve)
50g Butter
1/2 clove Garlic (crushed)
2 tsp mint (I used the freeze-dried stuff because I didn't have any fresh)
Salt and Pepper

1) Melt the butter in a small pan and fry the garlic for a few seconds.

2) Add the asparagus, broccoli and peas and stir in a little water. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.

3) Stir through the mint, parmesan, salt, pepper and ham and remove from the heat.

4) Cook your pasta in salted, boiling water; drain and toss with the sauce until well-covered.

Serve immediately with a little more parmesan and black pepper on top.