I feel like it’s spring!!
Yesterday it was still light out at seven and the sun shined all day. It was awesome.
Of course, tomorrow it will probably snow, but I can feel it, spring is on its way. Hooray!
Asparagus has been on sale here for the last week, so despite spring still being a week away I am jumping ahead a little. What’s new, right? I mean, I just can’t help it. I get so excited over new seasons. New seasons mean new foods!
That’s reason for excitement if you ask me.
Well, that and I am trying to get in all the veggies I can in the next few days. The meat-eater is back on his way out and for good this time. Creighton has been planning a move out to CO (he has worked in Cleveland the past 3 years). Unfortunately, Creighton injured himself badly this weekend. He broke his neck in three places on his C-7.
And don’t ask how he broke it. Let’s just say he’s not the brightest when it comes to trying to keep up with some of the other bros in extreme sports. As my dad said “maybe he should stick to chess.”
Thankfully, he is going to be fine, but he had us all pretty scared Saturday night. He is very lucky that he is not going to need surgery, which was not what they told us when he was life flighted from Pocahontas Memorial Hospital in WV (yes I am serious) to a Level One Trauma Center in Roanoke. Hopefully he will be coming home in a day or two.
So of course I can’t I disappoint my meat-eater brother, all of his favorites will be coming his way.
But back to Spring. Spring is all about a return of color in our foods.
Spring food seems simpler to me. A little lighter and a little faster, because hey, we all want to be outside if the weather is a little warmer. Yahoo!
Over the weekend there was actually so much sun that the snow melted off the grill. Result, grilled asparagus!
Finally. I feel like it has snowed the entire winter this year. I could not be more ready for non stop sunshine.
So, this pasta is super simple, obviously, as the title states.
The fresh asparagus and lemon scream spring and the creamy feta and mascarpone cream sauce are just the thing to compliment those flavors.
A little brightness and a little creamy comfort.
Perfect dinner for a Monday. Especially the Monday after the clocks are pushed forward one hour and we are all wanting that hour back (without taking our new-found extra hour of sunlight of course).
Extra bonus – lemons are packed with vitamin C and cancer fighting limonoids to help keep our immune system strong, as well as many other great benefits.
So come on guys, this dish will save you… in more ways than one!
Simple Lemony Feta and Mascarpone Pasta with Grilled Asparagus.
- Serving Size: 4-6 BOWLS OF PASTA
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- Total time: 25 minutes
- 1 pound long cut pasta (I used Diada De Laurentiis Pasta from Target)
- 1 large bunch asparagus ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (may sub cream cheese if needed)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 8 ounces feta cheese, finely crumbled or grated
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat your grill to high heat.
Place the asparagus in a baking dish, coat with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Grill the asparagus spears for 5-10 minutes, until nicely charred and just fork tender, turning them every few minutes so that they brown relatively evenly. Remove and chop into thirds.
Alternately, you may roast the asparagus by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the asparagus in a roasting pan or on a baking baking sheet and toss with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender and crisp. Remove and chop into thirds.
Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat, add the butter, cream, milk, and mascarpone and feta cheeses. Bring to a boil and simmer until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper and a good pinch of pepper, whisking until the cheese has fully melted. Simmer the sauce 3-5 minutes until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add the pasta and asparagus to the sauce and toss well. Cook another 1-2 minutes to warm through. Add the parsley and toss. Serve immediately with fresh feta or parmesan.
*If your skillet is not big enough to toss the pasta in transfer everything to a large pot or serving bowl and toss well.
It’s pasta and cheese. What could be better on a Monday? OK, end it with some chocolate and you are golden.