It is officially spring in Connecticut. It's 70 degrees out, the sun is high in the sky even at 5:00 p.m., and we have mini-forests of crocus all along our driveway. Oh look! Our spring onions and chives are coming in! At last, at last, it's spring at last!
And it's Monday, so what better meal to make for this beautiful spring day than something for Meatless Monday? This Food and Wine recipe seemed like the perfect gift when it arrived in our email box last week and we saved it for a day just like this one. As usual, we made some adjustments based our tastes and what we had on hand.
What we loved about this recipe was the wonderful fresh taste it gets from the green vegetables, seasonal herbs and tangy lemon. While we enjoyed it hot, we could see gracing our summer picnic table as a pasta salad alongside some barbecue. Mmmm...mmmm.
Spring Vegetable Farfalle
adapted from this recipe from Food and Wine
2 slices white sandwich bread, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccolini
1 pound mini-farfalle
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 fennel bulb - halved, cored and thinly sliced
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 drops lemon oil
Preheat the oven to 350. On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 1/4 cup of the oil and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let cool, then stir in half each of the chives and tarragon. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper and set aside. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccolini until tender, 1 minute; using tongs, transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Boil the pasta in the broccolini water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. In a deep skillet or wok, melt the butter in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the garlic, fennel and broccolini and cook over moderate heat until the fennel is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta, lemon juice and cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the water is nearly absorbed. Stir in the remaining herbs and lemon oil. Sprinkle the pasta with the bread crumbs just before serving.