“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.” I love this time of year, don’t you?
The snow is starting to melt, warm days are becoming more frequent and new fruits and vegetables are popping up at the farmers market! I love finding produce that is grown nearby and has spent less time in transit getting from the farm to my family. Most stores these days have any fruit or veggie you could want, shipped from around the world, but that causes the produce to lose its nutrients and flavor. Seasonal food is tastier, more nutritious and fresher because it has been picked at peak ripeness! In the US, our fruits and vegetables can spend as much as five days in transit, then sit on the grocery store shelves for two to three days before finally arriving in your home refrigerator, only to sit there for up to a week before being eaten. Eating seasonally helps the economy, the environment and your health.
I love incorporating seasonal produce into a yummy pasta dish! My kids love anything with noodles, especially if you add some grated cheese on top. Leafy greens are best in the spring, along with spring peas and asparagus. I like to saute them with salty pancetta, butter and garlic and a savory cream sauce brings everything together at the end. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Spring Pea & Asparagus Pasta Recipe
- ¼ lb sugar snap peas, stems trimmed
- ½ lb asparagus, ends snapped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¾ cup English peas
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ lb diced pancetta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp fine sea salt, more as needed
- ¼ tsp Black pepper, more as needed
- 1 package fettuccine noodles
- ⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, at room temperature
- ½ cup crème fraîche or plain whole milk Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped tarragon
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare snap peas and asparagus.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add snap peas, asparagus, English peas, shallot and pancetta. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente.
- While the fettuccine is boiling, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes or to desired doneness.
- Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately toss pasta with pancetta and vegetables, cheese, crème fraîche and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and top with toasted pine nuts.
Babies or Toddlers?
You can make this recipe and chop up every into bite sized pieces. For my slightly older boys I cut up the long pasta a bit to make it easier, but otherwise serve as is.
Pull out some plain pasta before mixing in veggies and creme fraîche. Toss it with butter and parmesan. Serve a small amount of veggies and pancetta separately on their plate. This way you are still essentially making the same meal with a small adjustment to make it more approachable.
Want more ideas to boost your child’s nutrition?
I’m doing a webinar on nutrients to boost health in toddlers! This is really appropriate for anyone with a growing child. So if you have questions or concerns about your child’s growth, brain development, immunity, or gut health, click the link below and join one of the upcoming webinars.