Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pasta with Asparagus, Artichokes, Spinach, and Peas

I’ve talked many times before about Bon Appétit, the magazine. I probably mention it monthly when it arrives in my mailbox and I immediately devour it. The magazine has recently seen a shift at the helm, with Barbara Fairchild no longer Editor-in-Chief. This rocked my world because Fairchild has been synonymous with Bon Appétit all of my sentient food life. Recently, BA has made strides toward vegan inclusivity with meatless dishes and menus, and features on How to Cook Everything Vegetarian author, Mark Bittman. I was anxious to see the new Editor’s attitude toward a plant-based lifestyle. The first order of business was a pages long feature on baked pastas...loaded with cheese and meat. I was ready to give up. But, my spring issue recently arrived and I found this gem hidden in the early pages (14); my faith was restored. In the best interest of its readers and itself, Bon Appétit should be taking wider strides toward plant-based living. With dishes like this, I’m willing to wait.

Pasta with Asparagus, Artichokes, Spinach, and Peas
adapted from Bon Appétit, April 2011

1 lemon
1 bunch asparagus spears
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
3/4 cup basil, loosely packed
1 box frozen artichoke hearts
3/4 cup fresh fava beans, or frozen lima beans
1 pound garganelli, chiocciole, or penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons non dairy butter
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 cups spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 375ºF. Snap the ends off the asparagus. Place in a single layer in an oven proof dish. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the zest of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper. Top with the rosemary sprig. Place in the oven, and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice diagonally into 2 inch pieces, and set aside.

Place the peas in a small saucepan. Just cover with water, sprinkle with salt, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and drain. Add to the blender with the basil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lima beans or fava beans and cook for 1 minute more. Drain and set aside. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

In a large pot, heat the remaining olive oil and butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the artichokes, beans, spinach and asparagus. Add the pasta water to the peas and basil and purée until smooth. Add the pea purée to the vegetables. Add the pasta and toss everything together. Taste for salt and pepper. I think this dish could benefit from a little textural variety, so next time, I would top it with toasted almond breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. This was delicious - thank you for sharing (and the great visuals)