My favorite Springtime vegetable is asparagus; it always reminds me of cooking with my grandma in Iowa when I was a little girl. Back then, asparagus seemed like a rare and exotic vegetable to me, as we harvested it from her garden. Now with the marvels of modern transportation, it is more readily available throughout the year, but it is still a sign of Spring to me. A trick my grandma taught me in preparing asparagus is (after washing it) to hold the stalk at both ends and bend it till it snaps. It will naturally break above the tough part of the stalk (which will be discarded) so you aren’t left guessing how much to cut off and you don’t serve any tough pieces of asparagus!
This recipe I found on a Barilla pasta box years ago and it is one of our family’s favorites:
Lemon Shrimp with Asparagus and Angel Hair
Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 12 minutes, Serves 4
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped red pepper (may substitute green or yellow)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup half & half
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 box (8 oz.) angel hair pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add asparagus; boil for 30 seconds. Drain; rinse under cold water and set aside.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, shrimp, red pepper and red pepper flakes; cook 5-7 minutes or until shrimp are cooked and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in half & half and salt. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile cook angel hair according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
- Add Shrimp sauce to hot pasta; toss. Add lemon juice and lemon zest; toss. Transfer to serving platter; sprinkle with cheese.
(Carla and her husband Clyde have seven children and will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year. She enjoys tennis, reading and writing. Carla serves as the website editor on the Keepers Ministry Team.)
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