Like most people at this time of the year, I’m craving clean, fresh meals with loads of green produce. I’ve been loving the amazing asparagus we’ve been getting down here in Melbourne this spring, ordering multiple bunches every week through my CSA veggie box. This week’s recipe showcases all the delicious seasonal greens currently floating around the farmer’s market: asparagus, green beans, broad beans, dill and small sweet carrots.
I love eating seasonally for a variety of reasons: 1. Produce in the height of it’s season tastes better, 2. It is cheaper, 3. Less food miles, 3. You almost never eat an underwhelming watery tomato, 4. You’re in touch with nature’s calender, 5. The produce is almost always suited to the styles of cooking that you crave at that particular time of the year.
This pasta is light and zesty, and comes together easily on the stove. The pesto is lemony and herbaceous, and any leftovers keeps well and would be wonderful in a sandwich, on avo toast or thinned out over a salad. The pasta I’ve used here is a tubular spaghetti, which is a little lighter in texture due to the hollow centre, but any pasta would work just fine.
Spring Green Spaghetti with Sunny Dill Pesto
You can use whatever pasta you like here, and broccolini is a great substitute for the beans or asparagus. To wash leeks: half the leek lengthways, cut into 1 cm slices and then submerge in a large bowl of water. Agitate them well with your hands before leaving them for a few minutes to let the grit sink to the bottom, then scoop them into a colander to drain. I use a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons, but a spiraliser would also work.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Spring Green Spaghetti
350g | 1 large leek, halved lengthways and greens and whites cut into 1cm slices **
2 tbls olive oil
60g small shelled broadbeans
300g tubular spaghetti (or other spaghetti or pasta)
150g asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds,
150g green beans, trimmed and halved
100g | 2 small carrots, shaved into ribbons **
a handful of small rocket leaves (arugula)
Sunny Dill Pesto
35g | 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
85g | 1 small bunch of dill, stems and fronds
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
80ml |1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Make the pesto: blend all of the ingredients in a food processor till mostly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
In a frypan over medium heat, sauté the leeks in the olive oil with a few good pinches of salt for 10 minutes, stirring regularly till they have softened and most of their water has evaporated.
Blanch the broad beans for 1 minute in the boiling water, before removing them with a slotted spoon. Leave them to cool slightly and then peel off their individual shells. Set them aside, and then cook the pasta as per packet instructions in the remaining pot of water.
When the leeks are cooked, add the asparagus and green beans and cook for 3 minutes till bright green, cooked through, but still with a bite. Remove the frypan from heat and add the broad beans, carrot ribbons and rocket, folding through a couple of times to warm them. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta with the spring veggies and a big scoop of the pesto stirred through.
Store any leftover pasta covered in the fridge for 3-4 days, and any leftover pesto in a jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top (to stop browning) in the fridge for up to 10 days.
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