Spring has been a tease this year. Lots of grey skies and rain, with a couple of hot, sunny, flirtatious days.
It's confusing because the spring harvest is here, there are local strawberries and asparagus, however some evenings it's still cold and you just need a comforting bowl of something warm and creamy.
Like this Frühlings Pasta. It's similar to the Italian spring pasta, Pasta Primavera, but with much more cheese.
1 bundle asparagus
1 tbsp flour
300 ml milk
200 g hard cheese, grated
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
basil to garnish
Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Make sure the pot is big enough to hold all the pasta and all the vegetables.
In the meantime, clean and chop your asparagus and zucchini.
Once the water is boiling, add your penne and set the timer for the cooking time on the packaging, minus 4 minutes.
When the timer rings, add the zucchini and asparagus to the boiling water. Cook this for the additional 4 minutes, then check to make sure that the vegetables and pasta are cooked through. If so, pour everything out into a colander.
Put the empty pot back on the stove over medium heat.
Add the butter and as soon as it is bubbling, sprinkle over the tablespoon of flour and whisk well. Once the flour has been incorporated, slowly pour in the milk, still whisking. Once this is bubbling and thick, add the cheese. Stir until everything is a creamy uniform sauce. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Add the pasta and vegetables back in and give everything a good stir.
Garnish the whole pot with basil and stir through, or garnish individual dishes, depending on your preference.
You can vary the shape of pasta, but chunky shapes probably work best.
You can also vary the type of vegetable, though cooking times might vary.
When you are making the creamy sauce, keep whisking vigorously and turn down the heat if it starts to darken or thicken too much. You can also add a splash more of milk if it gets too thick for your liking.