Sunday, November 1, 2009

A healthy spring meal

At the weekly market today I picked up some lovely asparagus which reminded me about this dish. The combination of the ingredients may sound unusual but the result is delicious.

Asparagus Pasta Combo

Ingredients :
350g small-medium waxy potatoes
100g spiral or penne pasta
1 large lemon
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
400g fresh asparagus
400g zucchini
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered (optional but a good way of getting some protein)
1 cup black olives (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil

Cook the potatoes until just tended. Drain then cut into small bite-sized portions and immediately toss in 1 tbsp lemon juice (half a large lemon), 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp mint leaves and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside and allow to cool.

Cook the pasta to al dente, drain and immediately refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent sticking.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Snap ends off asparagus and lay in a single layer on a baking tray. Toss in 1-2 tbsp oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Trim the zucchini and slice each thinly down its length. Place zucchini on a baking tray and toss in oil, salt and pepper. Place trays (or tray if you have only used one) in oven and roast, tossing once, for 7-12 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the pasta and potatoes on a large serving platter and pile the vegetables on top with the hard-boiled egg quarters (if using).

Just before serving, toss everything with the remaining juice of the lemon, olive oil, remainder of mint leaves, salt and pepper to taste and olives (if using).

This should be served warm and with warm crusty bread. Enjoy!

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