By Francesca Patterson
Having dinner in the backyard with my mom is one of my go-to things to feel good these days. We set the table nicely, pour glasses of wine, and cook something beautiful. For a few moments, it transports us away from the same four walls we’ve been seeing. We can pretend we are dining outside at a restaurant or on the vacation we didn’t get to take. This weekend the sun was hot and it was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
This dish is inspired by a recipe I found in Love and Lemons, which is one of my absolute favorite vegetable-forward cookbooks. To include the picks I got from this week’s CSA box, I made a couple of changes. Instead of chives, I subbed in garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the long, curly stems that grow out of a garlic bulb. They present and cook like chives or scallions, but have a gentle garlic-like flavor that is less sharp but almost as aromatic as their bulbs. I discovered these a few years ago, and now I look forward to them so much when spring comes.
I was also interested in making this dish present more like a pasta salad than the original recipe. To do this, I added a bit more mustard and lemon juice which gave it that tang and texture. This is a great dish to serve room at temperature or as a leftover the fridge.
This was such an enjoyable recipe to make. I love that the vegetables and pasta are almost the exact same size, and all the flavors are so complimentary. Everything about this pasta salad dish shouts springtime. With the vibrant color palette it has and the freshness of all the seasonal vegetables, it is the perfect thing to eat outside on a sunny day. If you want to try making my modified version of this recipe, read on for the ingredients and directions on our website.
- 5 radishes (thinly sliced)
- 1 bunch of asparagus (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1.5 cups of snap peas (trimmed)
- 8 oz of pasta (I suggest penne, gemelli, fusilli)
- 1/4 cup of garlic scapes (thinly sliced)
- 3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1.5 lemons
- 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme or a tablespoon of dried thyme (for garnish)
- sea salt & pepper (to taste)
1. Prep all your vegetables at the same time, because they will cook quickly. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together your lemon juice and mustard. Set that aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta by the directions. Before straining your pasta, use a cup to reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta water. This will be used later in the recipe.
3. In a large pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. When the oil is warm, add in your asparagus, radishes, snow peas, garlic scapes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute these for just about 4 minutes, so that you can keep the crunch of the vegetables, and then add in your lemon juice and mustard mixture.
4. Then, add in your garlic, white wine, and pasta water. Bring that all to a light simmer, and then stir in your pasta and about half of your parmesan cheese. Saute this all until the liquid has reduced and everything is thoroughly combined.
5. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh or dried thyme, and the rest of your parmesan cheese. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. This makes about 6-7 servings and will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.