Sim­plic­ity un­lim­ited

It’s done in a flash and any num­ber of veg­eta­bles can be used

The Northern Star - - WEEKEND - THE WEEK­END COOK with Mag­gie Cooper Con­tact Mag­gie at mag­gies.col­umn@big­

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 ◗ 1⁄2 pun­net cherry toma­toes, halved ◗ 3⁄4 cup frozen peas, thawed ◗ 1 clove gar­lic, crushed ◗ 1⁄2 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. PHOTO: 123RF

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