I’m writing this post while I’m visiting my little brother’s family in Southern California. Little Boy #2 and I had some special bonding time on our road trip to get here, and he is having an absolute blast playing with his 3 year old cousin who thinks he is the funniest boy in the world. I overheard her ask him if he would be giving her a ring when they get married. Adorable! He politely explained to her that she has to find someone besides him to marry her, because as much as you’d like to keep it all in the family, you can’t marry your cousin.
I love visiting this place. My sister-in-law always takes me to the best places to eat, like Sidecar Donuts in Costa Mesa. Did you know there is such a thing as a huckleberry donut? Add that to your bucket list right now, foodie friends!
Obviously, I will be taking it easy on the calorie laden treats this week to make up for all the fun we had. Before I left last week, I made this lovely Springtime Pasta with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s full of all my favorite things, like peas, asparagus, lemon and pine nuts.
The sauce is not too heavy, and the lemon makes everything taste so fresh and bright. The recipe listed below makes enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta, so if you are one who is more about the sauce than anything else, feel free to double it. And one thing that makes this pasta extra special is the homemade breadcrumbs. They only take a few minutes to make, but really add just the right crunch. If you are short on time and want to make the quick version of this recipe, you can use store-bought Panko breadcrumbs.
So it’s Monday and back to reality for me. Hello suitcases that need to be unpacked. Hello laundry. Hi there empty fridge.
Even with my bulging to-do list, I’m so glad to be home and have all my birdies in one nest again. It’s always a good thing to give yourself a chance to miss the ones you love!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 4 cups dry pasta (I used cavatappi)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed but mostly intact
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 20 stems), woody stem (bottom 2 inches) trimmed off and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cups peas
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (homemade or Panko is an okay substitute)
- *To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry pan over medium heat until they are just turning golden brown. Stir occasionally as you toast them.
- Cook pasta, in salted water, according to directions.
Brown Butter Garlic Cream Sauce
- In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium high heat. Stirring frequently, let it get bubbly, then foamy. When you can smell the nuttiness developing (usually about 3-5 minutes), and see small brown flecks on the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat and pour the browned butter into a medium bowl to stop the cooking process.
- Whisk in the heavy cream, and add the smashed garlic cloves to let the flavor infuse the cream and browned butter. Set aside.
- Steam or boil your asparagus until it is just tender (3-5 minutes depending on the thickness). I add the peas to the steaming basket just before the asparagus is done to warm them up. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a blender or food processor, pulse a 3 inch slice of crusty bread, or a roll, until you have coarse crumbs. Lay them out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until they are dry. Set aside.
- When your pasta is ready, remove the garlic from the brown butter cream sauce and discard. Wisk again if it is trying to separate, and then pour the cream sauce over the pasta. Add your asparagus, peas, and pine nuts.
- Squeeze your lemon over the pasta and sprinkle with lemon zest. Stir to combine. Taste the pasta and add more lemon juice / zest as desired.
- Dish out the pasta with asparagus and peas into your individual bowls and top with breadcrumbs. Serve with an additional lemon wedge if desired. Tastes wonderful served warm or at room temperature.