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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.

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.