Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Spring in My Step

The weather is warm, the trees budding, the flowers blooming…spring is here and for once I am welcoming its presence instead of cursing my allergic reactions. I don’t even mind the nose drips or the dry eyes that consume me while devouring the delicious delights of mother earth. Maybe it’s the calming strolls in the dewy grass of the nearby park in the early morning, or the blissful breezes that brush against your skin while running. Or maybe it’s the invigorating bubble in your soul that flickers excitingly with the sounds of rebirth. Whatever the reason, consider me a changed woman when it comes to my thoughts on the season.

Another reason to adore spring? Fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available to remedy any dinner! I am breathing better (despite the pollen) and thinking more clearly about what dish will satisfy our hunger pains. I don’t despise cooking on the spot, hunkering down in the hot ovens while the winter chill baits me, but rather indulge in the process while basking in the spring winds that flow through the open French doors into my kitchen, spreading the aromas throughout the house like wild fire.

Last night’s dinner was a product of my husband’s craving and imagination. A brown rice pasta base smoothly snuggled with warm puttanesca, roasted asparagus, cremini mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes. It’s early in the morning and yet I could definitely take another bowl down right now. Simple and satisfying without weighing too heavily on a tummy recovering from a fast evening sprint.

Spring Puttanesca Pasta
This recipe can easily be whipped up in 30 minutes or less. We had store bought puttanesca in the pantry but of course making your own would be fantastic! I had some leftover asparagus from the farmers market so I baked it quickly for some green nutrition. Makes 4 servings.

• ¾ bag Tinkanyada Brown Rice Pasta
• 2 chopped tomatoes
• 6 cremini mushrooms sliced
• I bunch asparagus
• Salt & pepper
• Garlic and herb seasoning
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red bell pepper, slicked
   ½ jar puttanesca sauce
Toss asparagus with a little olive oil, garlic and herb seasoning, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the asparagus bakes, bring a large pot of water, 2 tbs olive oil, and pinch of salt to a boil. Add pasta and cool for 13-15 minutes.

In a saucepan add mushroom and red pepper tossed in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and cook until soft. Drain pasta and add back into the pot with the mushrooms, tomatoes, and sauce. Mix well and divide up into four bowls. Top with asparagus (chopped if you please) and serve!

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