Go Spring! Patty and I were walking into the grocery store for our normal shopping and always start with the produce section. It is how most grocery stores are setup, which is great for us since that is what we usually need to stock up on the most. We walk in and BAM! Right there at the front of the produce area were these gorgeous yellow Campari tomatoes. We weren't even planning on grabbing them, but as with most awesome items, they just leapt into the cart so we were forced to bring them home.
I know, such a sad day for us.
Campari tomatoes are sweeter and very juicy. So! They became the inspiration for a springtime pasta dish. File this one under fast and easy. It didn't take long to prepare, just a bit of chopping with fresh ingredients, boil some noodles, toss some things together in a hot pan, mix it all together. What makes it fast is the sauce. No need to get all wild and crazy with a complex pasta sauce. Instead, combine fresh lemon juice with a bit of your pasta water and you have an instant sauce. I've been doing this a lot more lately, adding ingredients to some of the reserved pasta water for a quick sauce. The pasta water is filled with starches from your boiling noodles and not only contains nutrients, but also helps to thicken as a sauce.
In this case, l chose lemon juice and topped the dish with lemon zest for an extra touch of citrus. It is super light, but that's a good thing because you don't want to overpower with lemon flavor. Just a touch will do. Don't forget the jalapeno peppers and asparagus.
Patty's Perspective: Talk about fresh! This tasted like springtime and it made me so happy.
Mike's Reply to Patty: You seriously crack me up. =)
Easy Spring Pasta with Lemon Sauce
- 4 ounces penne pasta
- 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
- 10 spears asparagus spears, chopped into thirds
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Campari tomatoes, quartered
- 10 large basil leaves, torn
- Juice from half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley and lemon zest for serving
- Get a pot of salted water boiling and prepare your pasta as normal.
- While pasta is cooking, heat a large pan to medium heat and add peppers, asparagus, garlic and olive oil. Toss and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and basil leaves. Toss to combine and took about 2-3 minutes. You want the tomatoes to begin to soften, but not too much.
- Drain the pasta when ready and reserve about a quarter cup of the pasta water.
- Add lemon juice and reserved pasta water to the pan and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour pasta mixture into a large serving dish, then top with cracked black pepper, parsley and lemon zest.