This quick and easy spring vegetable sauté with pasta was adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day cookbook, one of my favorites!
8-12 oz. of your favorite bite sized pasta (rotini, penne, fusili, bowties).
1/3 c. sliced or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8-12 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered. (I like criminis, but you could use wild mushrooms if you’re into that kind of thing.)
16 oz. asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Additional extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt & pepper
Finely chopped fresh thyme or basil (optional)
Toast the almonds in a small skillet, just until light brown. Be careful, they’re easy to burn! Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of coarse salt just before adding pasta. Cook until just about done and set it in the colander to drain. Do not rinse.
While pasta is cooking, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large/deep skillet over high heat. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and the mushrooms. Stir or shake until well coated. Let the mushrooms sizzle on one side until golden, 2-3 minutes. Stir once or twice and cook until all the sides are nicely browned.
Stir in the asparagus, then the garlic. Cook until the asparagus is the way you like it; 1 minute, minimum. I like mine cooked, but still a bit snappy, which takes about 3-4 minutes.
Add the pasta to your skillet, along with a glug or two of really good olive oil. Stir well and turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with Parmesan and fresh herbs on top.