Today is the first day of spring and that's a reason to celebrate! Maybe even more so in 2021, considering all we've been through as a nation. It’s my favorite time of the year, any year, but especially now when the hope of better days ahead and a return to normal seem within our grasp.
I love it when the azaleas and dogwood trees bloom filling the streets with color, the weather turns warm and the daylight stays around longer. Our neighborhood is lined with beautiful crape myrtle trees and the entire community takes on a happy feeling when they come alive. The birds seem to chirp a little louder and the neighborhood awakens. It's as if the earth is coming out of hibernation, returning to life again.
I came into the world on April 6 around 9 a.m., and some 30 years later, I still seem to begin functioning at that hour. I naturally love this season. Just the other day, in anticipation of sunny, pleasant days, I dusted off my bicycle and cleaned the rust from its handlebars. There's something about sunshine combined with blooming flowers and swimsuit season that motivates one to move.
Springtime doesn’t only come alive outdoors; for me, it carries over into my kitchen too. When I become more physically active, naturally I want to eat lighter and more healthfully, enjoying foods packed with bright, colorful vegetables.
No matter what time of year it is though, I love to visit the farmers market, and cook what's local and in season — it doesn't get any more fresh and Some Kinda Good than that. Springtime produces some of the best greens, fruits and vegetables around. Salads, fresh fish and blanched vegetables call my name.
Today I'm sharing a recipe with you that embodies some of these qualities — Pasta Primavera, which in Italian means "spring style," and in recipes, refers to fresh vegetables.
Made with a delicious white wine sauce, and tossed with pasta, it's a creamy and satisfying mainstay.
I love to finish the dish with fragrant garden-grown basil and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Have a happy spring and be sure to visit my food blog at SomeKindaGood.com for more seasonal recipes. If you enjoy this dish, like Some Kinda Good on Facebook too, where I'm always sharing live cooking videos and tips to help you liven up mealtime. Good food and good company, that's what it's all about!
- 1/2 pound of pasta, such as linguine or bow tie
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup of matchstick carrots
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Olive oil for sauteeing
- 3/4 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Juice of half a lemon
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh Italian oregano
- Herbes de Provence
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen
- Fresh parmesan cheese and basil for garnish, optional
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a casserole dish, season frozen chicken breasts with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Once the oven has pre-heated, roast the chicken for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving a ladle full of the starchy water, and set aside until ready to add to sauce. Slice the bell pepper, squash and zucchini into thin strips. Mince the shallot, garlic and fresh herbs. In a large skillet, saute the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to sweat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, begin the sauce. sauté shallots for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer, stirring to combine. Add white wine and let reduce by half for about 2 minutes. Add mustard, butter and fresh herbs stirring to incorporate. Then, add heavy cream and reserved pasta water, and stir. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce is ready when it coats the back of a spoon.
When chicken has finished roasting, chop it into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the sauce, followed by the sauteéd vegetables and cooked pasta. Using a pair of tongs, mix in all the ingredients. Plate the dish using a pair of tongs, and garnish with remaining fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a private chef and the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about
Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.