Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pasta Primaveragus

Every once in a while when Katie gets home from work, she's on a mission to build the perfect supper.  She's got a clear vision of what should happen with the leftovers in the fridge and freezer, and the veggies that are ripening in the garden.  Last night was one such night.  Let's tag along and see what she's making!

First she got the asparagus out of the fridge, put it on a cookie sheet, and dusted it with pepper and garlic powder.  Asparagus on a cookie sheet?  In the oven at 375 °F for 20 minutes?  Intriguing.

She sliced up some mushrooms and put them in a frying pan with a little olive oil.

Then she said, "Jake, go cut some swiss chard from the coldframe.  It's trying to bolt, so cut most of it."

I had to chop it up and add it to the mushrooms.

Now she's making noodles!  Looks like 2.5 cups of whole wheat shells.  The best part about making whole wheat noodles is the leftover water.  Add some honey and bam! Liquid graham cracker.  It's the beverage that goes with any meal.

The chard and the mushrooms get stirred together?  Well, ok...actually, that looks good enough to eat!

Oh!  That's the leftover pasta sauce from the fridge!  Apparently it goes on the noodles.  Katie says, "Jake, stop taking pictures over my shoulder.  You're making it hard to scrape the rest of the sauce out of the jar."

The noodles get seasoned with garlic and onion powders, pepper, and green onion powder, too!  That also looks good enough to eat.

The asparagus looks roasted now.  Smells roasted, too.  Katie says, "Jake, stop drooling on the camera."

So, the chard and mushrooms get mixed in with the pasta, the roasted asparagus gets set next to it, and the whole shebang gets sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Her vision is complete!  She probably picked the yellow can to complement the colors of the food.  She's good with that kind of stuff.

When we were all done eating that, Katie said, "Let's make some more room in the freezer!"  We have blueberries and strawberries from last summer that we need to use up to make room for new ones!  So she added a couple handfuls of blueberries and a handful of strawberries to a cup of milk or so and took to it with the immersion blender.  In a couple minutes, the mixture transmogrified into a tasty smoothy/sorbet-like thing!  Yay for dessert!

The recipe:
1 bunch asparagus (~1 lb or ~15 pieces)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
~2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb swiss chard, chopped

2.5 cups pasta
1 cup pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Seasonings to taste (garlic powder, onion powder, green onion powder, pepper, dried basil)

2/3 cup frozen blueberries (when freezing, we added 1 cup sugar to 5 cups blueberries, so if your berries are unsweetened, you can add a tablespoon or two of sugar if you like)
1/3 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup milk

Set the asparagus on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings to taste, and set in oven at 375 °F for 20 minutes.  Check doneness at 12-15 minutes.  In the meantime, sauté mushrooms and chard.  Cook noodles and drain, reserving liquid.  Add pasta sauce, more seasonings, and mushroom-chard combo to the noodles.  Mix well, serve with the roasted asparagus and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

If you still have room, blend berries and milk with immersion blender, taking care to lick up all spatters.  Serve in bowls and eat with spoon if the product is more solid, or serve in mugs and eat with straw if product is more liquid.

How are you mixing your stocks of preserved foods from last summer with the early spring treats that are starting to come up fresh?  Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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