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So my mom headed home this afternoon after a two-week stay at my place. *Sigh*. Always so hard to say goodbye.  As always, she worked for her dinner [this time it was new window treatments for my living and dining rooms], so there was lots of fun in the kitchen as I tried to say thanks with food. More about that later.

This afternoon in my now quiet home, I was faced with laundry, dusty floors, and a fridge with a hodgepodge of prior meal remnants: beet glaze, hard-boiled eggs, two slices of roasted red beets, balsamic reduction, asparagus, lemon zest, heavy cream, plus a bit of dried homemade pasta in the pantry.

Mom wore me out. Hanging window treatments, walking, watercolor lessons, an attempt at hand-crafted ceramics (a first for us both), shopping, decorating, wall painting, building a blog [for her watercolor art], exploring the city, cooking, and wine…ahem…’tasting’. I spent a good portion of this afternoon not doing laundry, vacuuming, or dusting, but trying to decide where to eat out; too pooped to cook. But then the leftovers loomed at me, and I decided [as I almost always do], to cook what I have.

Pasta with Asparagus, Peas & Lemon Cream
for one
1 slice prosciutto, roasted then crumbled
1/4 lb pasta
7-8 asparagus stalks, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 cup peas
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

While a big pot of well-salted water came to a boil, I roasted a slice of prosciutto in  375 oven until crisp, and sautéed about 7 or 8 asparagus – which I’d cut into one inch pieces – in a bit of olive oil until not quite tender. Next some fresh/frozen peas and minced garlic were added to the skillet. After the garlic softened, in went about 1/4 cup heavy cream, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. The dried fresh pasta cooked in about three minutes, and was added to the veggie/cream saute along with a ladle of pasta water. After letting the veg/cream/pasta meld over low heat for a couple of minutes, about a tablespoon of freshly grated parm was added. The mixture was transferred into a bowl, topped with a bit more parm, crumbled prosciutto, and chopped parsley.
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This simple meal served with leftover wine not only cleared out some space in my fridge, but also extended my time with my mom – even if only in spirit.

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