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Spring pasta dishes are comprised of crisp, fresh spring vegetables, and various types of pasta. These may range from from orzo to penne noodles. Any pasta dish with spring in mind should be light, vibrant, and easy on both the stomach and the eyes.
The idea behind the spring pasta meal is to create a filling, healthy lunch or dinner that highlights seasonal vegetables without resulting in a too-full stomach. Rather than the main course, the pasta itself is considered an accompaniment to the vegetables being used. The pasta may be made into a heartier dish by creating a pasta salad with thicker dressings.
Sauces used in springtime pasta dishes are not heavy or meaty. They might feature light protein, such as tuna or chicken, but they are typically vegetarian dishes. Light lemon sauces, vinaigrette, and other thin dressings are most commonly used on spring pasta dishes. Light pesto sauces are also sometimes applied to these pastas.
A simple pasta dish can be dressed with some olive oil and sea salt, with just a small amount of butter. Including eggs in the preparation may help the dressing adhere to the pasta, as well as provide additional flavor. Chopped herbs can be added as desired.
Thin noodles are often used in spring pasta meals. Angel hair and spaghetti noodles are some favorite choices, as are thin egg noodles. Fettucini also works well in spring pastas, provided that it is not covered in thick cream sauce.
Some favorite ingredients utilized in springtime pasta recipes are mushrooms and asparagus. Onions are popular inclusions, as are sugar snap peas. Fresh parsley is often included, too. Other fresh spring pasta herbs might include chives and dill, as well as pepper and salt to taste.
Rather than traditional iceberg lettuce, escarole is frequently utilized in creating spring salads and pastas. Fresh spinach may also be tossed into the pasta. Another popular green used in spring dishes is Swiss chard. Chopped avocado can be implemented for additional greenery and flavor.
Pasta Primavera is a very popular spring pasta meal. Zucchini and other squash may be prepared in these pastas, as can broccoli florets and plum tomatoes. Tasty elements of crunch or nuttiness, from pine nuts to fava beans, are often included, though many of the spring vegetables, like radishes, can also provide plenty of crisp texture and flavor. Fresh cheeses may also be grated on top of spring pastas, though these should not make them heavy.
I like to make a dish of macaroni noodles, broccoli, squash and red onion. I toss this with a light lemon cream sauce.
Its one of my favorite spring pasta dishes because it is quick to make, light and absolutely delicious. As a matter of fact it is almost so delicious that it cancels out the spring part. If you pig out on something light it stops being light.
In the spring I like to make pasta dishes with vegetables and a white wine sauce.
Most pasta dishes use either a heavy cream sauce or a tomato sauce that gets tons of cheese heaped on top. These are great, but sometimes you want a lighter alternative.
When spring rolls around I just go to the market and buy whatever looks the freshest. There is really no vegetable that you can't use. The sauce is a cinch to make and the meal is a real crowd pleaser. Even my kids, who are not crazy about vegetables, get excited when it shows up on the dinner table.