Spring is here! If you are in Texas that means it lasts only 2 weeks. However, vegetables that were planted in the fall are ready to be eaten and there's nothing better than pairing them with pasta (and a good Sauavignon Blanc). This is a quick recipe that can be prepared with any veggie. I recommend visiting your local farmers market to see what's available!
2 slices of white sandwich bread, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbs snipped chives
1 tbs chopped tarragon
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 bunch broccolini
1 pd farfalle pasta (bowtie pasta)
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
2 scallions thinly sliced
1 cup fresh peas, shelled or frozen, thawed
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350. On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, stiiring once, until golden. Let cool, then stir in half each of the parsley, chives and tarragon. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccolini until tender, 1 minute; using tongs, transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Boil the pasta until al dente (don't over boil!), reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Drain.
In a deep skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic, fennel, scallions, peas and broccolini and cook over moderate heat until the fennel is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta, lemon juice and cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the water is nearly absorbed. Stir in the remaining herbs. Sprinkle the pasta with the bread crumbs just before serving. Pour yourself another glass of wine and enjoy!