I've chosen asparagus, carrots, peas, spinach and leeks for this spring pasta dish, but feel free to substitute with whatever catches your eye in the market. Choose at least 2 different colors for your veg so you can get a wide range of nutrients in your meal. Eat the rainbow. And if you live around here, you can probably see one outside your window, too!
Pasta, 750grams/1 2/3 lbs., (spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (you can omit if you prefer)
pinch of sea salt
parmesan cheese, to your preference when serving
1 lemon, zest and juice
freshly ground black pepper
tarragon (or other fresh herb such as sage) 1/2 a bunch, handful
Asparagus: (8) Rinse. Chop off and discard tough ends. Chop into 3 or 4 pieces - about an inch each.
Carrots: (2-3)Wash or peel the outer layer (don’t over peel!), top and tail them. For today’s pasta let’s julienne them. Cut in half lengthways. Cut in half again, and then slice thinly.
(______about this long_________)
Peas: (1 cup) Easy! Take out of the frozen bag, put in a pot with some warm water. You won’t need to boil these first as they’ll defrost when we cook. Frozen peas have all the nutrients and less of the hassle. Although shelling peas can be fun, you usually eat more than go in the pot!
Spinach: (2 large handfuls) Place in a large pot of water and wash. Rinse. Wash again. Drain. Pick off large stems.
Leeks: (2) Cut off the tops and tails, split them in half lengthways, peel off the outermost layer and run under the tap to remove all dirt. Then lay them on a cutting board and slice into half-inch dice.
Bring an extra large pot of water to boil. Cook your pasta (can use spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle) for as long as it says on the package directions. Make sure you stir the pasta a few times to prevent it sticking together.
Find a large serving bowl and crack 2 eggs into it. Whisk them well and set bowl aside.
On the stove, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan (would be best if it had a lid). Now add the vegetables that take the longest to cook (carrots, leeks). Add a pinch of sea salt (or regular if you don’t have), turn down heat to medium, stir and cover. Let these cook for a few minutes. Then add the other veg (asparagus, peas, spinach, and herbs: today tarragon).
Stir, cover and cook. As soon as these have just cooked (don’t overdo) turn off the heat and add a squeeze of lemon.
When pasta is ready, drain quickly and pour right into serving dish with eggs. Stir around and mix to coat the pasta with the egg and to cook the egg (the heat of the pasta will do this.) Now add the contents of your vegetable pan and stir through.
Top with some grated parmesan cheese, some lemon zest, and a twist of black pepper.
Fresh, delicious, healthy. Perfect!