If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), the summer here (well we are still calling it spring) is a time to be a little jealous of. Why? Because of the fruits and vegetables that are spilling into the grocery stores and into our CSA baskets.
Asparagus is something that made very short appearances in grocery stores of my Southern past and N.E.V.E.R showed up in my CSA basket. I can certainly tell you that asparagus LOOOOVVVEEESSS the PNW.
How do I know?
Because I've gotten beautiful organic asparagus in my CSA share for the past 5 weeks and I'm getting it again this week.
Asparagus is one of those vegetables, kinda like broccoli, that everyone loves.
When kids are excited to eat a vegetable, you know it's a good one. Maybe it's that asparagus tastes good after a quick roast in the oven, maybe it's because it has such a great crunch when eaten raw, maybe it's that you can eat it with your fingers.
Well...you should really use a fork and knife but.......there are exceptions to every rule, right?
The maybe's explaining asparagus could go on and on. So lets just settle on the fact that
Asparagus. Tastes. Great.
If you've got dogs and haven't fed them asparagus yet, you better let them in on this veggie. No need wasting the bottoms, just give the pups the fibrous end you snap off. They will love you for it and be sitting at your heels waiting to hear the "snap" that signals more goodness coming their way.
So, now that the dogs have all of the asparagus bottoms, it's time to put those tops to good use.
This Asparagus and Chanterelle Pasta is a fun departure from the expected asparagus recipes . If you don't have access to fresh chanterelles (another PNW gem) use some baby bellas or shiitake mushrooms. Everyone in the mushroom family loves asparagus so no need to discriminate.
The sauce for this pasta is a simple mix of white wine, lemon juice, butter and garlic and can be made while the pasta is boiling away. Other than a little bit of chopping, this is a dinner that can be on your plate in 10 minutes or less. Quick and tasty a combo every busy family needs in their recipe box.
This recipe does have one FIRM rule though - Don't use cheap wine! Use a wine that you'll happily drink while eating your plate of pasta. Wine that you wouldn't drink will make for a less than stellar sauce and...last I checked, the sauce makes the dish.
Now, head to the store, the local farmers market or farm stand and pick up some asparagus and mushrooms. A delicious dinner is waiting.
Asparagus & Chanterelle Pasta in a Lemon Butter Sauce
1/2 package spaghetti noodles (regular or gluten free)
1/2 pound asparagus, chopped or shave into ribbons
2 cups chanterelle mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white wine
5 tablespoons butter (I used MELT vegan butter)
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
Cook spaghetti according to package directions but remove it from the water when it is al dente. During the last 2 minutes, add the asparagus to the pasta water. Once done, strain and rinse with cold water.
While the spaghetti cooks, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan along with the garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
Add the white wine to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the wine begins to reduce. You don't want it to reduce too much or you'll not have enough sauce for the pasta.
Add the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the white wine. Mix completely after each addition. Once all of the butter has been added, add the lemon juice, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Add the reserved pasta and asparagus and toss gently to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed, top with the walnuts and enjoy.
*Thanks to Wild Hare Organic Farm for the amazing vegetables. We couldn't create these amazing recipes without the lovely vegetables we get in our weekly CSA share. Two Kitchen Collision received no compensation for this post and the recipe idea was entirely our own.