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copyright 1999-2006

spring fresh! 
lemony asparagus and shrimp pasta 
by Yee-Fan Sun | 
1 2

After months of whining about how winter had been taking its sweet old time saying good-bye, I went away last week, and poof! Spring seems to have showed up while I was gone! The cherry trees in the city parks are in full blushing bloom; the trees outside my apartment office window have finally unfurled their buds and leafed out in all their green glory. My allergies are a-ragin', it's true, but an itchy nose is a small price to pay for finally being able to ditch the winter wardrobe I've been sick of since, oh, the early days of March. Saturday, my bare feet felt sunshine on them for the first time this 2006. The glare bouncing off my pasty skin nearly blinded me, but oh, that sun felt positively luxurious. Yup, spring has officially sprung, and the lovely days are only just beginning.

As the seasons change from winter to spring (and soon to summer -- joy!), my food hankerings start to shift too. The stews and soups and roasts that warm me all through winter now make my kitchen too sweaty-hot; with the veggies finally starting to look fresh and inviting again at the market, I'm dreaming of lighter fare anyway like this pasta dish, which makes use of some of my favorite spring flavors, asparagus and lemon, and pairs them with some succulent sweet shrimp.

lemony asparagus and shrimp pasta
This dish tastes delicious served both warm and at room temperature, making it the perfect eat for a quick, elegant meal at home, or packed into a picnic basket for a fancy picnic at the park. You can up the shrimp and asparagus to a pound if you get a particularly good deal on them; since neither ingredient tends to be especially cheap, I offer these quantities, which provide just enough protein and veggie to balance the pasta.

12 oz. large shrimp
12 oz. asparagus
2 fat cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
cup veggie stock*
zest from one large lemon
1 lb. fusilli, or other short shaped pasta
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper (optional)
parmesan cheese (optional)

serves 3-4
20-30 minutes

* I just use veggie bouillon powder to make the stock; if you have fresh stock on hand, even better. If you have neither fresh nor powdered stock, you can omit it, but you'll need to add more olive oil to coat the pasta. It'll still taste good, but obviously, up the fat content a bit.

amble this way for directions and a printer-friendly recipe

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