Feels good to be back photographing these gorgeous vegetables and creating new recipes for the blog. It's been awhile. I've been through quite a bit these past few weeks dealing with some of my own personal health issues and the craziness of being "COO" of this busy company called Family!
In the midst of it all, somehow I managed to help lead a minor "wellness coup" within my childrens' school district.
If you've read my previous post, you know how upset I was with regards to junk food snacks (fruit gushers, rollups, rice krispie treats, cookies) being sold during school lunch. Well, last week the food service company decided to add more junk to the list. With the backing of many other parents, I decided to put my anger into action. I wrote a letter on behalf of myself and parents of our school community and copied it to district school administrators and the director of our school food service company.
Our voices were heard. We received responses from district administration within less 24 hours. To make a long story short, the food service director is willing to work with us and members of our Wellness Committee to make the necessary changes. The fruit gushers and some other junk were immediately removed from the school premises.
The moral of the story is, if you aren't happy with the junk food situation or quality and service of food being sold at your children's school you must speak up! It's so very important and NOW is the time for change! If you'd like more details about how we're making strides in the fight for healthier school food, email me or leave me a comment below. I'd be happy to answer any questions that might help lead you to your own victory!
Now about this PASTA...
Although Mother Nature seems to be taking her time bringing on spring, I'm in full spring mode in my kitchen! I refuse to let the recent snow storm and frigid temperatures tell me otherwise!
This pasta dish is simple, quick, light and bursting with color!
The sauce is made from the natural juices of the vegetables and a bit of white wine and olive oil. By carefully smashing some of the cherry tomatoes, you create a delicate sauce for the pasta to grab on to (but consider yourself warned, the juice from those little suckers squirts pretty far!)
I toss the vegetables with an organic penne, because I think it holds up nicely with the chunkier vegetables. I use a vegetable peeler to slice off chunks of Parmeggiano-Reggiano cheese. The pasta is topped with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. You'll feel like spring landed right into your mouth!
Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Peas & Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- ¾-1 lb asparagus sliced and hard bottoms trimmed off
- 1 cup frozen peas defrosted
- 1 pint carton organic cherry tomatoes
- 2 large shallots
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
- ½ cup white drinking wine
- block of Parmeggiano-Reggiano cheese
- bunch fresh basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Generously salt and boil water for pasta.
- Cook pasta al dente according to package time.
- In meantime, in a large sauté pan, heat oil then add shallots and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add asparagus,cherry tomatoes, wine, and salt to the shallots and stir.
- On medium heat, cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Uncover and begin to smash half of the cherry tomatoes.
- Stir vegetables and continue to cook until wine has reduced by half and vegetables are tender but not mush, about another 5 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta to the vegetables and combine.
- Turn off heat, and allow pasta and vegetables to sit in the pan for a few minutes, so flavors can absorb into the pasta.
- Serve pasta with fresh basil, chunks of cheese, drizzle of olive oil and a dash of pepper.