Spring, no matter where you live, is the greening of the earth. In terms of fresh local produce, nothing heralds Spring like asparagus. For me, it is one of those vegetables that really should only be eaten during this season. Or maybe that is simply my excuse for gorging on it at this time of year. No matter the reasoning, enjoying asparagus truly is a Spring rite of passage for me.
Most of the time I steam them in a pan, adding olive oil and salt and pepper so that their green goodness is unvarnished. But I also love roasting them to create a crisp outside as a foil to their tender buttery inside. Grilling them is also a great choice as I did in my last post!
I’ll be sending this post over to Cynthia, writing at The Kitchen Slave for this week’s Presto Pasta Night roundup, which is such a fun blog event to participate in since there are essentially no rules and pasta is so fun to experiment with. If you want to join in the fun please send your submission to cynthia_huang86 (at )travelers (dot) com and cc ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com.
This recipe was inspired by Co-opportunity’s recipe of the month contest so I wanted to make something both colorful and versatile. If you can get grape tomatoes use them over the cherry as they hold their shape a little better when roasted.
Fusilli with Roasted Spring Vegetables
1/2 lb fusilli or rotini pasta
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small whole cloves garlic, peeled (or cut large ones in half)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella or 1/2 cup mozzarella, cut in 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus, tomatoes and garlic cloves in olive oil and salt and roast for 30 minutes. Cook pasta as directed to finish in time for roasted vegetables to come out of the oven. Drain pasta and toss with vegetables and cheese. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot or toss with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and serve at room temperature.