Meatless Monday: Spring Pasta

Sometimes I think I could totally go vegetarian and be perfectly happy.  Other times I want a big, fat, juicy steak and I’m not afraid to admit it.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just compromise and do a vegetarian day or two a week, like Meatless Monday.

Spring Pasta is the perfect quick, weeknight meal to showcase the best spring veggies.  Feel free to substitute any of your favorites.  Personally, I think asparagus and peas scream SPRING (even though the weather isn’t really cooperating).

Spring Pasta

2 slices wheat bread
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
8 oz. uncooked fettucine
Olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
4 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh basil and tarragon, chopped

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place torn bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs; sauté 3 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Remove breadcrumb mixture from pan; wipe pan clean with paper towels.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and remaining garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or until tender. Add asparagus and saute another minute.

Deglaze pan with wine. Add cream cheese to pan and stir to melt. Add parmesan cheese.

Drain pasta; reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta, and peas to pan. Toss until thoroughly mixed; adding a little reserved liquid if needed for sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, top with breadcrumb, herbs, and more parmesan cheese.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2018.

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