Spring is finally here! Well, in two days it will be anyway. I don't know about you, but I am ready. I've had enough of the back and forth between nice weather and cold. Our daffodils came out and bloomed and it snowed two days later. Our blackberry bushes are getting leaves and our strawberry patch was greening up too. Hopefully the subsequent freeze didn't set anything back too far. That weather man of ours likes to keep us on our toes!
All it takes is a few warm days and for the grass to start to green up and my tastes start to change. After a long winter of soups, casseroles and braises, I am now ready for quicker, fresher and easier meals. That must be the same all the way around because the Sunday Supper Tastemakers are celebrating easy spring recipes this week led by Anne from Simple and Savory. So I couldn't wait to participate.
Peas are one of those early spring vegetables that is always a favorite. There is something about a pod of sweet peas straight from the vine. You don't even have to cook them. Of course, that is a taste that is hard to come by and it is a bit early for them. But really frozen peas are a good substitute. Ham is another dish that says spring to me. It isn't necessarily an obvious spring choice, but with Easter coming up there is soon to be plenty of hams on people's tables. This Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream would be a delicious way to use some of those Easter leftovers.
I love how simple and flavorful this dish turns out. The smell of the butter, onions, garlic and ham cooking draws you in. Luckily at that point you are just a handful of minutes away from a delicious meal. Some dishes like this make a heavy sauce to coat everything. I wanted just enough cream to give a very light coating to everything. To me the sweet fresh flavor of the peas and the salty savory ham should shine and not be masked by too much cream and cheese. Don't get me wrong, I love cream and cheese, but in some cases moderation actually is better. I am not the only one that likes it just like this. Not a single one of us was super hungry when we sat down to eat, but all three of us had seconds. I quickly packaged up the leftovers in lunch sized containers to keep it for myself. Lunch this week is going to be delicious!
Now I am wondering. What are some of your favorite spring dishes and flavors? Is there anything that really signifies spring for you?
Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream
16 oz pasta
2 T butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
2 cups ham, cubed
1/2 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup cream
2 cups fresh or defrosted peas
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper
optional: additional Parmesan for serving
- Boil noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, ham, garlic and a pinch of black pepper and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and continue to simmer until pasta is coated. Add peas, stirring to combine and then remove from heat.
- Add Parmesan cheese and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with an additional grating of Parmesan if desired.
Cakes, Pies, and Sweets
- Coconut Custard Pie by Renee's Kitchen Adventures
- Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mango Banana Bread by Asian in America
- Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Upside Down Brown Sugar Apricot Cake by The Bitter Side of Sweet
Cookies and Bars
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies by Pies and Plots
- Coconut Mango Chia Pudding Parfait by The Crumby Cupcake
- Maple Syrup Madeleines by The Finer Cookie
- Oatmeal Rhubarb Bars by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Pistachio Lemon Bars by From the Bookshelf
- Creamy and Tangy Avocado Chicken Salad by Cooking On The Ranch
- Grilled Lamb Lollipops with a Lemon and Pea Dip by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Lemon Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes by Hardly a Goddess
- Pad Thai Spring Rolls by Brunch-n-Bites
- Parmesan Crusted Pork Tenderloin by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Spring Pizza with Goat Cheese & Asparagus by Wholistic Woman
- Spring Power Bowl by Simple and Savory
- Crab and Asparagus Pasta by My Savory Spoon.com
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus Rotini Pasta by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts & Feta by Soulfully Made
- Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream by Cooking With Carlee
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Baked Swordfish and Asparagus with Lentils and Chermoula by Caroline’s Cooking
- Flaked Salmon Arugula Spinach Watercress Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon with Brie by Books n’ Cooks
- Red Snapper in a Saffron-Tomato Broth with Artichoke Hearts & Potatoes by Gourmet Everyday
- Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette by Jersey Girl Cooks
- Salmon with Parsley Pesto and Peas by Cooking Chat
Veggies and Sides
- Alfredo Scalloped Potatoes with Ham by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Asparagus Ham and Swiss Danish Braid by Crazed Mom
- Asparagus Soup by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Cheesy Potato Asparagus Tart by Sunday Supper Movement
- Herbed Lemon Potato Salad by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Microwave Carrots and Peas by Cricket’s Confections
- Roasted Spring Vegetables by Food Lust People Love
- Shaved Asparagus Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm
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