Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spring pasta and a Rant

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What is this 'Spring Pasta?', you ask. It's not Spring anywhere in the world at the moment.
Well, I'm just a bit backlogged with the blog, so this recipe's a bit belated.

Okay, enough with the alliteration. I found this simple dish at 101 cookbooks and adjusted it to match the availability of produce at my local supermarket, ie. I had to leave out a lot of ingredients.  Nonetheless, it turned out reasonably well. If I make this again, I would cool the pasta a little before adding the eggy sauce, as it cooked a bit when added to the warm pasta.

Oh, and for a bit of a rant about my local store, go to the end of this post.

Spring-ish Pasta
serves 2

8 ounces / 225 g cooked, long pasta (like spaghetti, fettucine)
2 eggs
fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups of sliced, blanched asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or sliced broccoli trees, or other shredded greens
1 avocado, chopped

1. Separate the pasta, so it's not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, crack the eggs and beat well with a pinch of salt and set aside.
3. In a big frypan or skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. Add any vegetables that take longer to cook (asparagus, broccoli) to the pan . Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked.
4. Stir in anything that just needs just quick cooking (snow pea shoots and soft greens).  Stir, and cook just until tender - a minute or so. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.
4. Add the pasta to the pan and toss well. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let sit for a minute. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before dividing between two plates. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.

recipe adapted from

Ingredients: angel hair pasta, asparagus, broccolini, avocado

Chopping the blanched asparagus; eggs with a dash of truffle salt; just before tossing it all together. I also added a couple of anchovy fillets after heating the oil.

Some avocado and lots of pepper top the tangle of pasta and veg.
This is a nice, light dish that can be made with any combination of greens you have available, subject to your crapppy local supermarket.


--- A Rant ---

I did try and find some snow pea shoots as specified in the original recipe, but the supermarket did not have any. Nor did they have any red capsicum or loose mushrooms, either. In fact, they were mushroom-less and capsicum-less for about a week. No one knows why.

So I picked up a bunch of broccolini and some thin asparagus (and was grateful to get it!) to go with the pasta. Imagine my shock when removing the label on the asparagus to see that it was 'Product of Peru'. Peru! Now, no offence to our South American friends, I'm sure your asparagus is the pride of your nation, but does Woolworths really have to ship it half way around the world in order to sell it in Sydney? It wasn't that expensive (less cost than a bottle of milk), and it tasted like most asparagus, but I hate the idea of the unnecessary trip that it took. And how fresh it might be by the time it got here.
That is all. Thanks for bearing with me. Though after the e. coli outbreaks in Europe recently, it does show how easily germs and microbes might travel, even if they do it in the hold of a plane or ship. Moral of the story: Wash your veges.


  1. Well you're damn right about it not being spring! We skipped that entire season and went straight to summer!

    I love this spring pasta though and since spring veggies are still around, I'm okay with making it even though the weather is completely discordant!

  2. Lovely looking pasta...I think supermarkets should always state where the food is from so the buyer can make a choice on whether to but it or not.

  3. I know! I got such a shock seeing that Coles' asparagus was from Peru. Do we not grow them here? And goodness, think of the carbon footprint of cheap Peruvian asparagus!

  4. i never check the labels of my produce ever...i just assumed they're from aust or nz. hmmmm. will need to keep an eye out from now on.

    mb asparagus doesn't grow much during winter here thats why they need to ship it?

  5. ah, looks light and delicious. love any sauce with eggs - they make it just hearty enough without being overly heavy.

    love the subtle critique of the bigwig supermarkets, too. produce (often fruit) is picked too early for export, which keeps it "fresh" but bland. blah.

  6. ha! this is the 2nd time today I read a post on how WW shipped things from around the world to Australia. Can u believe their FRESH pastries are from Denmark? hell, no! So freakin' ridiculous!

    Having said that, the pasta looks lovely. I am sure it will taste nice with some winter greens now?

  7. Rant warranted! Woollies are a little dodgy when it comes to their "freshness".
    Your pasta looks lovely though :)

  8. oh! I love the different shades of green. very appetizing.

  9. And this is why you shouldn't shop for fruit and veg at places like woolies if you can afford/avoid it. We try to go to local markets, or order mixed box of fruit and veg (usually around $40) that's seasonal and lasts us a fotnight. I only use Coles/woolies for packaged grocery items these days. But I am aware that some people can't access or afford this.

  10. Delicious looking pasta - lots of lovely greens. However, I'm with Reem on this one. I always think fresh fruit and veg is best bought from a farmers market, community supported agriculture organisation (like Food Connect) a fruit and veg store, market or an independent supermarket. It takes a bit more effort to start with but the long-term gains benefit all of us.
    Of course, we are all caught short sometime, though, aren't we?

  11. I suspect supermarkets have a demand to meet so they get their produce from where they can. Compared to when I was a kid and strawberries, cherries, etc would only be available in summer, in recent years typical summer fruits can be found in the dead of winter here - shipped all the way from the US!