“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~Oscar Wilde
I won’t go into the details of why cooking for yourself is a great way to dive into this so-called romance as Mr. Wilde puts it, but I thought this quote might inspire you as it did me. I also would like to apologize for not having written any recipes for exactly two months. When it comes to this blog, consistency is clearly is not my strong suit.
I am going to keep it fairly short today, and just give you the run-down with this pasta, a healthy dish that comes together nicely and showcases the prime vegetables of the season. While I like cooking year round, cooking in springtime is a special treat because I am finally able to cook with fresh produce that is full of fragrance, flavor and texture. The silky zucchini complements perfectly the crunch of the asparagus and peas, and fresh basil adds the final touch to remind you that better weather really is on its way!
Of course this springtime bliss is only relevant to those living in seasonal areas in the northern hemisphere, but hopefully you will all enjoy making this pasta no matter where you call home. As with pretty much any recipe on this blog, feel free to change it up as you see fit: replace the peas with fava beans, use fresh mint or cilantro instead of basil, and you may even want to omit the bacon, in which case you would need to use olive oil to cook the zucchini and asparagus.
One last note: if you have leftover zucchini and asparagus, why don’t you dice or slice everything and cook it in the next few days in a frittata?
Happy spring to every one, may your next meal be absolutely delicious, wherever and whatever you find yourself eating. And please give feedback/comments/new recipe ideas! The more the merrier!
1/4-cup lardons, or two slices bacon, cut into small dice
2 ounces papardelle pasta, or any other pasta you want to use (you’re making this for yourself, so go nuts!)
1/2-cup fresh or frozen peas (if using frozen, make sure to thaw them)
3 stalks asparagus, trimmed, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 garlic clove, minced
4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan, or more as desired
good-quality olive oil (optional)
2. Using your vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini vertically into pasta-like ribbons.
3. In a small or medium saute pan, cook the lardons or bacon bits over medium heat, until well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked through, remove from heat, leaving the fat in the pan.
4. Once water is boiling, add pasta and peas and cook pasta to package instructions.
5. Return the saute pan to heat and cook garlic in the remaining bacon fat until browned, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini ribbons and saute until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until asparagus pieces are just slightly tender, 2-3 minutes.
6. Once pasta is ready, drain in a colander along with the peas. Add pasta, peas, and bacon bits to the skillet containing the asparagus and zucchini, and toss to combine. Add lemon juice as desired, probably 1-2 tablespoons. Season generously with freshly ground pepper.
7. Remove from heat and toss in the basil. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and drizzle with good-quality olive oil if desired.