Ah ah ah CHOOO!!!
I managed to avoid getting sick for close to an entire year. I really thought I was almost invincible. I went plenty of days on way too little sleep; I spent the equivalent of days inside airplanes between my trips to Los Angeles, Tokyo, Australia & New Zealand, and Thailand; and I somehow forgot to get the flu shot this past winter.
And yet I was spared any germs.
That is, until now. Oddly enough, now that summer's here, my body finally decides to succumb to this annoying cold that consumes my sinuses and makes breathing not-so-fun.
Suffering temporarily like this for a few days gives me much sympathy to those who suffer from springtime allergies. I can hardly deal with this for a few days - I can't imagine having to deal with it for a whole season.
Anyway, enough about my current state. Let's think about more positive aspects of spring.
I've been making this simple pasta dish a lot. It's my go-to dish when springtime rolls around and all these gorgeous spring vegetables start to appear everywhere. I was inspired to make this dish when I spotted some gorgeous purple asparagus at the supermarket.
I love it because it's super easy, fast, healthy, and is infinitely flexible - my kind of dish!
I was extremely curious as to what happens to purple asparagus once you cook it. I knew that purple string beans turn green when you cook them, yet purple cauliflower retains its gorgeously dark hues.
Here's your answer. These purple asparagus definitely lost a lot of their deep purple colors, although the little triangular tips are still purple.
Blanching is optional, since you can always just saute the asparagus with all the vegetables together in the frying pan.
For this dish, just saute your vegetables together with an aromatic (shallots or onions work really well). Once everything is reasonably cooked, just add your pasta, toss in some cheese and pasta water, mix it all up, and you're golden!
Optional but highly recommended, add a soft poached egg on top! I used a sous vide machine. Cook it at 62.5 °C for a runny yolk. Anything higher, your yolk will still be gorgeous velvety and spoonable, but it won't ooze out. Of course, you can always use traditional poaching methods to poach the egg if you don't have a sous vide machine.
Fetuccine with Asparagus, Spring Peas, and Morel Mushrooms
½ lb pasta (dried)
1 T shallots (or onions), minced
10-15 morel mushrooms, washed and dried
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2-3 asparagus spears, sliced at an angle into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup fresh English peas, shelled
Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
salt and pepper
truffle oil (optional)
Heat up a pot of water and begin cooking pasta, keeping an eye on the time and taking it out when it's done.
Saute shallots and morel mushrooms over medium heat in butter and olive oil until the shallots are browned and the ingredients are fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add the asparagus and peas and saute for about 2-3 minutes until lightly cooked. Season with grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Toss in the pasta and add pasta water as needed to get the desired consistency of sauce. Serve drizzled with truffle oil (optional) and sea salt on top.
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