OK, in all honesty, I typically don't love spring here in Boston. Though this year has been freakishly nice, a typical Boston spring is full of rain rain rain. I finally understood the term "April Showers bring May Flowers" when I moved to Boston. These terms must have been born in early colonial America here on the East Coast.
Anyway, this spring we have been blessed with FANTASTIC weather, and I am totally taking advantage of it, spending every moment I can walking around the city, biking along the Esplanade, or jogging the Charles River trail.
Another thing I've enjoyed is cooking clean, healthy, and flavorful dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Here is a simple, healthy, and tasty dish that comes together pretty easily on a weeknight. If you prep certain parts of it, you can actually whip this dish up in 15 minutes!
The ingredients are not set in stone. I happened to have some of these on hand, but you can definitely substitute if needed. I think it is important to at least have one aromatic (I used shallots, but you could use onions or ramps) and at lease one earthy mushroom. It's nice to have something slightly sweet, like peas or corn, but it's pretty flexible.
Whenever I only need a small amount of corn, I like to pre-cook it in the microwave. It's so much easier, cleaner, and nutritious. Click here for a short tutorial!
I recently fell in love with morel mushrooms after tasting some incredibly flavorful morels at Mare. I couldn't get enough while I was there, and at that moment I decided I had to try cooking some myself! Here, you start by stir frying the aromatics and the earthy mushrooms together in butter and oil!
Next, mix in your spring vegetables, toss with some cheese, pasta, pasta water, and seasoning, and you're all set to go!
A Taste of Spring
Fusilli with Morel Mushrooms, Asparagus, Fresh English Peas, and Corn
½ lb pasta (dried)
1 T shallots, 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
2 ears of corn, microwaved with kernels cut off
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, peas, and corn 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 and sea salt on top.
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