The combination of pasta and seasonal vegetables cannot go wrong.
I for one have been relishing in sauteed tender green asparagus combined with oven baked greens and pasta.
This pasta with green asparagus can be eaten as a warm dish, or as a lukewarm or cold pasta salad. It is also a perfect picnic takeaway.
Onion, green squash and mushroom are baked in the oven…
Τhe asparagus is gently blanched, then sauteed in a pan with olive oil and garlic.
Cherry tomatoes can be added for a splash of red colour and creamy texture. I have used penne pasta made of lentils, buckwheat and teff. But of course, any pasta will do.
- 250-300 g fresh green asparagus
- 1 green squash
- 100 g mushroom
- 1 big onion
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Cream of vinegar (optional)
- Roasted nuts (optional)
- salt, black pepper
- chili flakes
- dry mint
- fresh basil
- Break off the woody ends of the asparagus; you will feel their natural breaking point where the tender part of the spear begins and the woody/harder end starts as you hold the spear and bend it.
- Cut/break the asparagus in two halves
- Place the asparagus in a pot, and cover with water
- Boil the ends for about 2 minutes on low heat
- Add the tips and let simmer softly for another couple of minutes
- Remove the asparagus and keep the broth for cooking the pasta
- Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in halves
- Mince the 4 garlic cloves; cut the basil leaves in thin pieces
- Peel a big onion and slice it thinly lengthwise
- Wash the squash and shred it into coins; place in a colander with some salt
- Heat up the oven to 200 degrees (390 F)
- Place the onion in an oven tray with some salt, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
- When the oven is ready, place the onion tray in the middle rack
- Wash some mushrooms and cut in half
- When the onion has been in the oven for about 15 min, wash off the excess salt from the squash, spread the squash coins and mushrooms on an oven tray lined with parchment paper, drizzle with some oil and bake for 15 mins, or until nicely tender (monitor the vegetables so that they do not burn). Turn off the oven.
- Heat up some olive oil in a pan on medium heat
- Add half of the minced garlic to the pan and stir as to not let it burn; add the asparagus ends
- Toss the asparagus and garlic in the pan for about 2 min before you add the tips and sauté for another 2 minutes; remove the asparagus from the pan
- Add some more oil to the pan and add the garlic, basil and tomatoes
- Bake until the tomatoes have become juicy and creamy (not completely mashed); if necessary add some teaspoons of water
- Add some water to the remaining broth and bring to a boil
- Add the 100 g of glutenfree pasta and some drops of oil
- Stir, turn off the heat and place the lid on the pot
- Once in a while check that the pasta has not stuck together
- Let the pasta cook this way for the amount of minutes stated on the package
- If the pasta is still hard after the indicated time, just let it cook for another 2-3 minutes
- When the pasta is done, rinse it and add some oil
- Cooking pasta this way saves energy and prevents it from over-boiling
- Place the caramelised onion on a big serving plate
- Add the pasta on top of the onion; add the squash and mushroom mix
- Top with the asparagus
- Add the tomatoes
- Spice with some chili flakes, dry mint and freshly ground black pepper
- Add some finely cut fresh basil and parsley some drops of oil and cream of vinegar
- Top with roasted nuts
- Combine with some non dairy sour cream, soft goat-cheese or pieces of Parmesan cheese
- This makes two big portions of salad. Can feed up to 4 people if you add some more pasta.