It’s done in a flash and any number of vegetables can be used
ANOTHER light and easy vegetable dish this week. I can’t think about cooking or eating heavy food in this warm, dry weather, so a quick pasta dish without a creamy sauce or loads of meat ticks all the boxes.
This simple recipe relies on the freshness of the ingredients for its flavour; having said that, frozen peas are a great time-saver and I find it difficult to tell the difference between them and fresh peas these days.
Don’t be limited by the ingredients I have used; just about any spring vegetable is suitable. I’ve also used double-shelled broad beans, asparagus and broccoli with great success. If you need some protein you can also stir through a little smoked salmon or prosciutto just before serving.
There are few dishes not improved by lemon zest, in my humble opinion. I have a relatively new Eureka lemon tree in my garden. It’s currently covered with flowers and I have great hopes of a good crop later in the year.
I add a good squeeze of juice to most savoury dishes, while the grated zest adds zing without heat. Try to avoid the white pith when zesting a lemon.
Light and easy vegetable pasta
INGREDIENTS: 250g uncooked spiral pasta 2 tbs olive oil handful of green beans, topped and tailed punnet cherry tomatoes, halved cup frozen peas, thawed 1 clove garlic, crushed cup white wine grated zest of half a lemon handful of fresh basil leaves salt and pepper, to taste fresh parmesan, to garnish.
METHOD: Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to packet directions and drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large heavy frypan over medium heat. Saute beans, tomatoes and peas for two minutes.
Add garlic and cook for a further minute; do not allow garlic to brown as it will become bitter.
Add wine and bring to the boil; deglaze pan and reduce by half.
Toss through pasta, along with the lemon zest and basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with grated parmesan.
Variation: Any spring vegetables can be used in this dish. Try double-shelled broad beans, broccoli florets, asparagus, capsicum or corn kernels.
Add smoked salmon or prosciutto if desired. Serves 2.
You can use just about any spring vegetables in this light and easy pasta dish.