Penne with Spring Vegetables
Make the most of fresh produce with this tasty main dish that is quick to prepare and packs a nutritional punch!
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas
- 1 (8-ounce) package penne pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash asparagus and snap peas. Trim off tough ends of asparagus and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Trim snap peas (see tip below).
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Add peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- Place pasta in the bowl with asparagus and peas. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Smart Shopping Tips
- Choose asparagus that is firm and fresh looking with tightly closed tips.
- Asparagus should be cooked the same day as purchased. If storing for a day or two, treat it like cut flowers. Trim the ends and place in a tall glass with a little water. Put a plastic bag over the top and refrigerate.
- Purchase snap peas that really will snap when you bend them, which indicates freshness. Place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within a day or two.
- Try grilling or roasting asparagus, which mellows and sweetens the flavors. Quick-cooking methods such as these will help preserve the nutrients.
- Snow or snap peas add a fresh crunch to salads. They can be eaten raw, either whole or roughly chopped.
- To trim snap peas or snow peas, trim off the stem end with a paring knife and remove the string which runs along the inner curve of the pea pod.