A Pasta Dish Infused with the Flavors of Lemon, Garlic, and White Wine
I’ve always admired people who have the ability to be subtle. You know the type. Those that tell you that you have spinach in between your teeth without embarrassing you. The type that can ease their way into a group of gabbing people without a hitch. People that can nearly trip, but catch themselves just in time to regain their composure.
Not me. No, I’m usually the one with the spinach in my teeth, whilst tripping and falling all over the floor. I guess you can say I’m talented at being a klutz. At that, one who is far from inconspicuous. Subtle just isn’t one of the words I would use to describe myself, but my asparagus lemon pasta, on the other hand, was just that.
Flavors of fresh lemon juice, sauteed garlic, and chardonnay wine blended together to form a simple sauce that lightly coated the hearty whole wheat orecchiette pasta. The taste of basil and rosemary made themselves known between between bites of steamed asparagus.
If any of you have any lessons on subtlety, I’m in the market for hints. For now, I’ll just stick to this pasta dish. Read on for the recipe.
Ingredients for asparagus-lemon pasta:
1 tsp + 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 pound of asparagus, discard the ends after cutting them off and then slice the remaining stalks into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, salt, and dried basil
1/4 tsp of rosemary and garlic powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp+ of lemon zest (or more depending on the strength of lemon flavor you want the pasta to have)
1/2 cup of white wine (chardonnay worked well for me – I chose one that wasn’t oaky, as some varieties can be)
1/2 pound of the pasta of your choice (I used orecchiette-shaped pasta)
Top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese) *optional
Fill a large pot three quarters of the way full with water and heat it over medium heat. While waiting for it to boil, heat a frying pan over medium heat with the teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
In the meantime, dice the onion and slice the garlic cloves. Add the onion to the pan. Let the onion cook for about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the pan seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water (instead of adding more oil – it’s a way to add more moisture without adding more calories). Then add the garlic slices. When they start to brown add the asparagus, spices, and lemon juice and zest. Let the asparagus cook 10 minutes or until it is tender, but still crisp. When the asparagus is almost done add the white wine. Let the wine cook off for about two minutes.
In the meantime, when the water begins to boil, add the pasta. When the pasta is done, strain it, put it back into the pot, and add the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. I sprinkled a bit more garlic powder, salt, and pepper on top of the pasta before adding the veggies. Toss and serve immediately.
While the ingredients in this pasta dish were simple, they combined to form deep flavors. I’ve never gone wrong by adding white wine to a sauce-less pasta dish or to my glass while I was cooking. Cheers!