The light springtime flavors and colors of this quick-and-easy pasta dish are sure to please the whole family: Tender asparagus and lively spring onion are a perfect match, and a hint of white wine and fresh herbs makes the whole thing special.
You can even make a vegan version! What a luscious tribute to the fresh pleasures of spring.
1 pound thin asparagus
3/4 pound mushrooms (morel, cremini, oyster, or a mixture)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound spring onions (or scallions or baby leeks), trimmed and sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or nonhydrogenated margarine
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces dry pappardelle or fettucine pasta
1 tablespoon chopped chervil or flat-leaf parsley
1. Cut off tough ends of asparagus and slice crosswise into two-inch pieces. Trim tough ends from mushrooms. If the mushrooms are dirty, quickly rinse in cold water and pat dry before slicing into bite-size pieces.
2. Heat oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Add onions and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Add asparagus and saute 2 minutes. Add wine and simmer until liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add butter or margarine and toss until melted into vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the sauce and chervil or parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper, and serve.
Serves 4 to 6.
From the April 2004 issue of Organic Style Magazine (Rodale Press).