Primavera Pappardelle : Feel the Garden, Be the Garden
Today, I will let the fresh herbal and floral arrangements speak for themselves. However, do note that these flowers are not edible, simply beautiful dried stems from a Mother's Day bouquet my sister sent me a few weeks back! Also, the title, do you not recall this movie scene? Please do.
Enjoy this delicious primavera pasta dish I came up with, inspired by my newly-harvested herbs and my love for drying flowers. I also apparently have an utter passion for zucchini presentation: ribbons, cubes, thinly sliced, they are all so photogenic, different-looking and yet are just the same inside (did I just use greens to discuss the beauty in diversity of cultures and ethnicity?!). Off to bed I go- but I stand by my zucchini message.
You will need,
Zucchini (2, sliced, cubed, ribbons, whichever way you prefer! I did all 3)
Garlic (4 cloves, minced- it might seem like a lot, but zucchinis are filled with water so you want to add more flavour so it won't taste diluted)
Spinach (3 cups, fresh, 1 cup if frozen)
Pappardelle (for as many bowls as you wish)
Sea salt (a pinch)
Shallots (2, thinly sliced)
Basil (a few freshly picked leaves!)
Thyme (a few stems- only use the leaves)
Olive oil (more than the eye can see)
Lemon zest (4 tbsp)
Lemon juice (2 tbsp)
Frozen peas (1 cup)
Yellow tomatoes (roughly chopped, for a fresh garnish)
A few easy steps,
In a skillet over medium-heat, toss zucchini, olive oil (drizzle over and add as you go if you find it cooks/browns too fast) and season with salt pepper. After about 5 minutes, add garlic and shallots. Toss for 1 minute.
Add in the lemon juice and green peas. When they are bright green and no longer frosty-looking, add spinach and toss until the leaves have wilted. Lower heat significantly.
When the zucchini cooks, start preparing the noodles. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and throw in a pinch of salt. Cook noodles according to packaging instructions.
When draining the noodles, ensure to either keep 1/2 of the pasta water when you are draining them or, heat up 1/2 cup of vegetable broth- I was personally happy with water this time, but both make for delicious results!
In the skillet over low heat, add in the noodles and as much of the pasta water as needed (as you toss the ingredients together, you can judge according to desired consistency). Set aside.
Serve in bowls with toppings of fresh thyme, lemon zest, freshly chopped basil leaves and finely diced yellow tomatoes. Add salt and pepper for taste and a drizzle of olive oil.
Enjoy tasting the garden!