Pasta + tantalizing texture

Springtime menus.
Pasta is often a classic foil for garden fresh seasonal offerings.
Unique pasta shapes also add texture.
Or perhaps craft unique sauces or vinaigrettes?
Savory or chilled…
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
great tips for great menus.
Creamy Goat Cheese and Asparagus Orecchiette 
3/4 pound orecchiette
3/4 pound medium asparagus spears–
cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until just al dente. Drain the orecchiette, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking water.  In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the orecchiette and the reserved cooking water to the skillet along with the lemon juice and zest–season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the orecchiette is al dente and the asparagus is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the goat cheese and chives and stir until melted. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Pasta of choice…its the sauce that’s unique.
Pasta with Asparagus-Lemon Sauce
1 lb fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1 lb pasta of choice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, reserving tips separately. Cook asparagus stems in 5 to 6 quarts boiling water with 2 tablespoons salt until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving cooking water in pot, and rinse under cold water. Drain asparagus well and transfer to a food processor or blender. Cook asparagus tips in same boiling water until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to colander, reserving boiling water in pot, and rinse under cold water. Drain tips well. Purée asparagus stems with zest, oil, and 1/2 cup asparagus cooking water. Transfer sauce to a 4-quart saucepan. Cook pasta in boiling asparagus cooking water until it still offers considerable resistance to the tooth,  around three fourths of the recommended cooking time. Reserve 2 cups cooking water and drain pasta. Add pasta, asparagus tips, and 1/2 cup reserved water to asparagus sauce and cook over high heat, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes, or until pasta is almost al dente and sauce coats pasta. Add more cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, until sauce coats pasta but is a little loose (the cheese will thicken it slightly). Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.
Wagon Wheel Pasta with Goat Cheese
1/2 pound wagon-wheel (or any short) pasta * ie., radiattore
1 10-ounce box frozen lima beans — or fresh
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (or sour cream)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces creamy aged goat cheese, cut into small chunks
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. After 5 minutes, add the lima beans. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain it with the beans (reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid), then return the pasta and beans to the pot along with the onion, crème fraîche, thyme, salt, pepper, goat cheese, and the reserved water. Toss together and serve.
Fusilli with Carmelized Spring Onions and White Wine
8 ounces uncooked fusilli
2 cups thinly sliced spring onions
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt + dash of salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 Preheat oven to 375°F.  Combine panko, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, and a dash of salt in a small bowl. Spread panko mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 375°F  for 6 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after 3 minutes. Cool. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onions to pan–cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and wine. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute. Add broth–cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 4 minutes). Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions, omitting additional fat. Drain. Add pasta, remaining salt, and pepper to onion mixture–toss gently. Place about 1 cup pasta in each of 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons panko mixture.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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This entry was posted in entree, luncheon, pasta, recipes, seasonal, small plates, supper and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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