It’s Holy Week in the life of the church. In my “other life” in my job as a pastor, this is one of the busiest times of the year. Cooking is my outlet, but during the time I need it the most, I often am not able to cook. Usually, I am not home on a Wednesday evening and certainly not during Holy Week. It has already been a long week and I had a funeral service today with a graveside an hour out of town. With a great deal of encouragement, I took the evening off. There was nothing I had to be doing, I have service tomorrow with some rehearsal afterward, Friday service and Saturday rehearsal for Easter. My husband, of course, had to be at church. So I cooked a quick spring dinner.
I had been to the farmer’s market on Saturday. I had a bag of baby spinach and spring lettuce.
Add a english cucumber and hydroponic tomato from the market and I had a salad.
I then made what is often called “spring pasta.” It is light, easy and uses spring vegetables. I had a few spears of asparagus from the garden, some frozen peas and some other pantry ingredients and I put them together.
Most recipes if they use a “meat” they use pancetta. Really? In Kansas? I actually have some frozen, but I did a real Midwest switch and diced up 2 slices or regular back and fried them until they are crisp.
Pulled them out of the skillet added one diced shallot, 5 diced shallots and when they were done, I added I diced clove of garlic. I used oiive oil as well as a little of the bacon grease. When the onions and garlic were soft, I added about 1/2 cup white wine and reduced it.
While the bacon was working I had boiling water and added penne pasta. After nine minutes I added a cup of frozen peas and the asparagus I had cut up. After two minutes I drained it and added it to the onions, garlic and bacon, added maybe 2 tablespoons of the pasta water, chopped parsley and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
With the tossed salad with a red wine vinaigrette and it was dinner. Simple, fresh and tasty and fed my soul and my body.