Thursday, June 21, 2012
Lemon and Parmesan Penne with Stolen Asparagus!
You need a good go-to dish after a long day's work. Something cheap, delicious, fast, and reasonably healthy. Something you can substitute ingredients with when you are out of stuff. I think this fits the bill quite nicely! It's made entirely of things we pretty much always have on hand--lemons, pasta, parmesan cheese, olive oil.
The variables are fresh veggies and herbs. Tonight we had some asparagus on hand, and I nipped across the street and stole some gorgeous fresh mint from my neighbors. And you better swear not to tell them.
While we blanched about 20 stalks of asparagus and boiled enough pasta for two, I used a little food processor to make a pesto of:
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (not shredded, but grated)
1/4 cup olive oil
a generous handful of freshly stolen mint leaves (!)
zest and juice of half a lemon
fresh cracked pepper
Drain the blanched veg and pasta and toss it with the pesto.
And that's all there is to it! This is really a 15 minute dish, including prep time.
I have made this with peas instead of asparagus and basil instead of mint. Use your imagination! I like to use enough veggies to bulk up the dish so it's not too pasta-heavy. The lemon, cheese and olive oil complement one another really well.