Early Spring Supper

5 03 2009

The headwind coming home tonight on my bike was absolutely killer. I was pedaling all the way down the Pleasant Valley bridge over Town Lake, which is bordering on the ridiculous. I am almost convinced I am actually a sail that has developed (perhaps mediocre) consciousness.

Anyway, the long and the short of this is that I was ridiculously hungry when I got home. And what do you do on a cool Texas spring evening? Make pasta with asparagus. Clearly. I loved this combination mostly because the pasta is tossed in a lemony-parmesan white sauce infused with rosemary and garlic – a hearty winter sauce if ever there was one – and then paired with tangy, balsamic-rosemary-roasted-tofu wedges and crisp, barely-roasted asparagus. It’s the perfect dish for being in between seasons.

I’m not posting a recipe for the entire thing. It’s pasta. Improvise, for goodness sake. But the white sauce, yes, that deserves a good recipe.

2 c milk
1.5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp unbleached flour
7 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
5 or 6 sprigs of rosemary
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c finely grated parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan; whisk in flour and continue cooking and whisking until pale gold. Whisk in the 2 c milk, the garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest, and heat to a simmer over medium heat (no higher and do not boil, it is milk after all) until thickened. This takes awhile. Not forever, it’s no choux pastry, but it’s awhile. Strain garlic cloves and rosemary out of white sauce and stir in parmesan, whisking until cheese is melted and you have a delicious thick creamy pasta sauce.

To make the rest of the pasta, I simply caramelized about 1 c of chopped onions and about 7-10 cloves garlic, minced, in a pan with the zest of 1/2 a lemon, and then let that sit around on low to med-low heat for awhile. Right at the end, I stirred in the peas and then added pasta and the white sauce, and cooked it over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or so to integrate everything.



Pasta is so easy. Yum. I am full and pleased!




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