I love pasta and noodles, all sorts of them, whether made from wheat or rice or other grain or even beans. I’ve just come to realize that both east and west have so many variations of this ingredient to popular dishes wherever they are served and eaten. Do you know that there are 700 types of pasta and noodles and that the number is dynamic? There can be more being created right now!
While noodles are always long strands, pasta are of different shapes. Each type was created starting since the 11th century for a specific purpose. My simplified notion of pasta is that it’s either long, short or in sheets.
Also read: Vegan Pesto Pasta
For the featured dish here, Creamy Asparagus and Minted Pea Fettucine, our major role players are fettucine, asparagus and mint. And since we’re at the pasta discussion, the choice shape is fettucine which is long, flat and thick because the sauce is thick and heavy. What I’m getting at is that, long pastas are for sauced up dishes. Thin long ones are for thin sauces while thick ones are for thick sauces. Incidentally, spaghetti is neither thin nor thick that’s why it’s popularly used. Short pasta is for salads, casseroles and soups.
Asparagus and green pea are both SuperVeggies (ala superman). They contain choline, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, protein, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E and vitamin K. It is a very good source of dietary fiber and pantothenic acid. That is probably why they are highly recommended for cancer patients, slows digestion, thus okay for diabetics.
And finally mint. Fresh mint has an aromatic, sweet, menthol flavor. It is a great palate cleanser, promotes digestion, and in cases of indigestion, has a soothing effect.
After all the superfood qualities I listed, what’s really great about this dish are three things. First is the creaminess. Creamy is truly comforting, don’t’ you think? For me, I can’t help smiling as my lips and tongue relish the creamy texture and enjoy the comforting taste that lingers. The savory taste of this dish from the mix of sautéed ingredients is Umami (Asian) or Mirepoix or Bouquet Garni (European). It is simply delicious.
Also read: Chilli Marinara Pachheri
Are you now convinced that you gotta make this SuperDish, Creamy Asparagus and Minted Pea Fettucine? Check out the simple steps.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
- 300g asparagus (small bunch), trimmed and chopped leaving the stalks whole
- 300g frozen peas
- 1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml non-dairy milk (use less if you wanted a thicker, “greener” sauce)
- 300g dried vegan fettuccine
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- Toasted pine nuts for garnishing
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Heat a large frying pan and add the oil.
- Saute spring onions, asparagus and peas and cook for a couple of minutes, add the mint.
- Then sift in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Using a stick blender, puree the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth, turn the heat down to low.
- Add the asparagus tips and simmer for a few more minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season.
- Drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water, then
- Toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of the cooking water if needed.
- Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the top and then serve.
The sauce is very easy, no fuss and for maximum results, mint and black pepper really lift the flavour adding piquancy.
I did say I am a pasta/noodle lover, right? That’s because pasta or noodle dishes can be eaten anytime – as breakfast, lunch or dinner meals, or as anytime snack. I’ve even developed the habit of eating a cold pasta or noodle dish without bothering to heat it up. The flavors and tastes remain and you can eat it like pica pica (like potato, corn chips, nuts, etc.)