Fresh Spring Pasta

Spring has made itself known - there are rain storms and farmer's markets everywhere.  Fresh, colorful veggies are filling grocery stores and hopefully, filling up your grocery cart.  I know they are bursting out of my basket and threaten to take over my fridge.

If you have never been to a farmer's market - go! They are a treat for the senses and the wallet.  Most people believe that farmer's markets are expensive and elitist, but that could not be further from the truth.  Farmer's markets are often much cheaper than conventional stores and the money you pay goes directly to support the farmer and their farm.  They are certainly not elitist - farmer's markets are all about bringing people together around the freshest, local ingredients and supporting local agriculture.

This dish is all about those fresh spring veggies.  It's simple and relies on nothing more than some salt, pepper, and the flavor of vegetables.  Since it is so simple, be sure to buy the very best and freshest ingredients.  It does make a difference.  Taste for yourself.

Spring Pasta

Yields: 2 entree servings

4 oz of gluten-free pasta (we like Quinoa pasta around here) *reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup summer squash, diced

1/2 cup mushrooms, half thinly sliced, half quatered (you can do them all one style if you wish - I happen to like the different textures)

1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved

salt + pepper

olive oil + good quality balsalmic vinegar (optional)

smoked or cured salmon, thinly sliced (optional)

Prep your veggies before you start! It makes life so much easier.

1. Cook and drain your pasta according to pasta instructions and reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

1. Heat a pan with a quick swirl of olive oil in it over medium-heat.  Add your scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add minced garlic and cook one more minute until the mixture is very fragrant.

2. Add in your summer squash and saute for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften.

3. Add your mushrooms and saute another 2 minutes.

4. Add your tomatoes and saute for about 1 minute.  Add your salt and pepper as well.

5. Add your cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6. Serve with a swirl of olive oil, a quick dash of balsamic, and a healthy pile of thinly sliced smoked or cured salmon if your heart so desires.