Springtime Pasta

Sunday, April 6, 2014
It's officially been spring for a couple of weeks, but today felt like the first day of spring in Toronto. And it's been a long time coming in Toronto. It's probably hard to understand unless you live here, or in Michigan, or in Minnesota, or in Calgary … never mind, I'm sure you understand exactly how long it's been.

Today was the day when we saw many of our neighbours for the first time in months. At least, for the first time when they weren't bundled so deeply against the cold that we didn't know who we were waving to.

And thus it seemed appropriate that I'd post Crunchy Pappardelle today, which seemed like a spring recipe the first time I made it on the coldest of winter days. It wasn't just the light cream sauce with the lemon flavour, it was the fact that it used pappardelle, which I was certain was associated with the spring. In fact, I googled it before writing this post, only to find that "pappardelle" means "gobble up". That's appropriate too, since that's exactly what we've done to this recipe every time I've made it.

In the end, I'm not sure what I was thinking of. Perhaps papillon, which is French for butterfly? Whether or not it was meant for the spring, I can't think of a better way to bid adieu to winter than by gobbling up this pasta before heading outside with the rake.

Crunchy Pappardelle

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 cups button mushrooms, halved
7 Tbsp white wine
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped and stems discarded
1/2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
3 Tbsp panko
1 bunch, 3 – 4 cups, broccoli (or broccolini)
9 ounces dried pappardelle

Bring a large pot of salted water and a small pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan and sauté the mushrooms until they start taking on colour, stirring occasionally. Add the wine, bay leaves, thyme and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by two-thirds. Remove bay leaves, add the cream, and stir to mix. Taste and add plenty of salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Mix together the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. In a pan over medium heat, toast the panko until golden, stirring occasionally.

Pick any leaves from the broccoli, then cut into individual florets. Blanch in the small pot of boiling water for 2 minutes and drain.

Add the pasta to the large pot of boiling water. When the pasta is just ready, add the broccoli to the cream sauce to reheat. Drain the pappardelle, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and stir with the cream sauce. Add half of the parsley mix. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.


Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Stir the rest of the parsley mix into the panko and sprinkle generously over the pappardelle. Serve immediately.

28 comments:

Gloria Baker said...

This look so good Beth:)

Joanne said...

Pappardelle definitely does feel more spring-appropriate to me...even though there's no real reason why that should be lol. With the veggies you used, this pasta feels like a primavera...which is definitely spring-perfect!

Natalie Aguirre said...

We're just starting to feel like Spring in Michigan. And yes, you have to live somewhere as cold as Toronto or here to appreciate it. Thanks for the great recipe.

Jemi Fraser said...

That sounds really good! Maybe it will encourage spring to show up here in Northern Ontario. Still can't see over the snowbank when I back out of the driveway :)

Barbara said...

I know exactly how you feel as I was born, raised and lived in Michigan for many years. Spring has been a long time coming, especially this year. Can't imagine a better way to celebrate than this yummy pasta dish, Beth!

bamskitchen said...

Lemon in anything reminds me of fresh spring flavors and this pasta dish looks like the perfect way to greet spring.

Angie Schneider said...

So fresh and delicious. I like the use of broccoli in this simple spring pasta dish.

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Oh, I absolutely love light springy pasta like this. This is SO me type of dish. YUM!

kirstenlopresti said...

Okay, I'm putting away my crock pot. This looks delicious, and perfect for spring.

Daniela Grimburg said...

You made me smile with your post Beth.
We love Papardelle and yours look like a wonderful spring treat.
Wish you wonderful spring days with lots of sunshine and clearly recognizable neighbors :)

vanillasugarblog said...

I am dying to get that cookbook. There is a quick & easy pickled cuke recipe in there that I'm anxious to try. Have you seen it?

Joyti said...

I wish I understood how long it's been .... we had no winter this year (and no water, severe drought this summer)....I hope you're enjoying this spring...and this pasta looks amazing!

Caroline Taylor said...

Oh I could easily eat this for dinner

I Wilkerson said...

or Wisconsin! I am just finally actually smiling when I go out. Lovely spring dish!

Valerie Gamine said...

The 6 foot high mountain of snow in my driveway has finally melted down to a happy 2 foot high molehill. :D
The papillon refrence, I get it! This springy pasta looks happy enough to flutter off the plate and into an awaiting mouth. xo

Debra Eliotseats said...

It may be finally feeling like spring here too. It has been a long time coming for many this year. That pasta looks and sounds delicious. I can't wait to try it.

Bonnie said...

Beth, I always associate pappardelle with spring pasta dishes. I the wide pasta show off spring vegetables beautiful. Yummy! I hope you have only sunny days this week. Bonnie

Karen Kerr said...

Gosh this looks delicious! And beautiful!

Katerina said...

I am so glad spring has arrived to you too! This pasta dish is the best way to celebrate it!

bakewithjill.com said...

This pasta would be delicious any time of the year!

nancy at good food matters said...

Even in the southern U.S., it has been a harsh and long winter. We are all grateful for spring's arrival.
what a delicious idea--adding panko for crunch! Thanks, too, for sharing the gobble-up meaning of papparadelle--love it.

Jessica Lawson said...

Yum, yum, yum! I wish Spring would make it's way to my part of Colorado...

Juliana Levine said...

I love Spring...and this pasta sure sounds delicious Beth...what a great way to welcome the new season.
Enjoy your week :D

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Plenty is one of my favourite cookbooks, and this dish looks like one I would love just about any time of year.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I can well believe that pappardelle means gobble up! At least that's what I do when I eat it. ;-) Really nice recipe. And so nice spring is here, too! Kinda sorta -- it's been so late this year here, but it's finally arrived.

grace said...

i don't think i've ever had the specific shape of pappardelle, but there's no reason i wouldn't like it, especially with all those tasty additions! hooray for spring!

Belinda said...

Is it really spring? This certainly is a sign!

kumars kitchen said...

oh this delectable dish brings in spring as it is served...so warm and delicious...very comforting,thanks so much for sharing :-)

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