Spring Pasta Recipe
A quick spring pasta made with leftover noodles, market vegetables, egg, and a bit of avocado.
On cloudless, fog-less days, my kitchen door opens onto a sunny back patio. I get the occasional visitor - cats, bees, butterflies, big spiders. It's always a surprise. The last few days there have been four birds that stop by late in the morning to sit on branches near the kitchen window. They are tiny pom-poms with bodies no longer than my thumb. Sometimes they just sit and watch me, other times they peck at the window. This guy in particular is quite incessant.
He isn't at all scared of me, and I'm able to get quite close to the window to look at him. With my nose to the glass he's not more than an inch away. They stay for an hour or so, and then go on with their day elsewhere. I can't tell if they're baby birds, or just small. I bet one of you would know.
I really like having them around when I'm alone in the kitchen. They're funny and chirpy, and clearly friends or siblings. I was making this little pasta plate when they came by the other day. It's another leftover creation. I'm hooked on the Cipriani pastas - they're relatively pricey, but never disappoint. I had thin [cooked} egg noodles leftover from some Pasta al Limone I made the night before, and decided to throw this together. Noodles, whatever quick-cooking market vegetables were in the fridge, egg, and a bit of avocado. Worked out great. You might add some toasted nuts or breadcrumbs for crunch, or chopped olives, or a swirl of harissa, or lots of chopped herbs...similar to the quesadillas, there are a hundred ways to approach this. I can imagine a version made with soba noodles too.
Other news: Thank you all again for helping Super Natural Every Day debut at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list. I'm very, very grateful for your support.
- I did a Q+A with Esther Sung at Epicurious here.
- And! I spent three days with the staff Whole Living magazine for an article in the May issue - it should be on the stands any day not. In the meantime you can check out the recipes here.
- Lastly, I'm excited to be adding a second event to my Portland/Seattle trip - I'll be signing/selling books at The Remodelista Local Seattle Market on Saturday, April 30th, from 11am to 4pm. There are more details here. Info about the other PNW events are here.
Spring Pasta Recipe
I used thin, egg noodles here, but spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine would all work as well.
8 ounces / 225 g cooked, leftover pasta
fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 big handfuls of sliced asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or tiny broccoli trees, or shredded greens - anything quick cooking and fresh
Use your fingers to fluff up the leftover pasta a bit, so its not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.
In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them really well with a pinch of salt.
In a big skillet melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. If you're using a vegetable that might take longer to cook than others, add those to the pan - for example, asparagus or broccoli. Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook for a couple minutes. Until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked. Now stir in anything that just needs a quick flash of cooking - in this case pea greens, but chopped greens would go in at this point if you're using those. Stir, and cook just until tender - a minute or so. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.
Now, add the pasta to the skillet, and toss well. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let everything sit for a minute. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before dividing between two plates. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.
Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes
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These little gray birds are a family group of full grown Bushtits. Common, breeding residents of Santa Clara Valley. Nests look like sweat socks dragged through a field of plant debris. High twittering little voices. Most field trips with Santa Clara Audubon are free-scvas.org. and there is a good chance you will see Bushtits.
As another person posted, those little birds are called bushtits (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bushtit/id). I see them in my yard all of the time, but rarely are they willing to hang around as close to a window as your little guys. They make a lovely little chirp that I find very calming. You are extremely blessed to have such a close encounter!
Awwww...I miss having the world outside visit me through the kitchen window. My apartment is one of those built like a hotel where all my windows face other peoples windows. Those birdies are so cute, and funny. Seems so much like a Cinderella story of sorts. It was so nice to see you yesterday at Mrs. Dunnaway's. I was going to ask you for a photo but thought it would be too much. I just adore everything about your style of writing, living and cooking. You have truly been my Julia Child, and I tell everyone about your site. Congratulations on getting a spot in Whole Living too, how wonderful. And, this recipe looks delicious. I love the green! It reminds me of your Orzo Pasta Salad. Thank you for being an inspirational woman in my life! Peace and Love!
I've never thought about adding avocado to pasta before, but I am excited to have a creamy, dairy-free addition to a bright, springtime dish.
OK, that first image of the tiny bird peaking in at your window just about floored me. So sweet! Congratulations on your well deserved success with Super Natural Every Day, Heidi!
Love your new friend! I never know what to do with leftover pasta; thanks for the inspirations. Seems like this would go nicely with a "kitchen sing" (i.e. clean out the fridge) salad as well. This is my current favorite: http://noshesthoughtsreves.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-new-year-and-tofu-nicoise-salad.html.
Hi Heidi, The birds are so cuteee... I live in Mumbai - India.. I have a crow which comes to my window and literally bullies me... I have named him Kali (black in Hindi) have a good day!
Cute Bushtit in your window. I'm a new follower, and I have been cooking from your site daily the last few weeks, I really love your recipes!
Hi Heidi! Your recipe sounds lovely and springy! I think your little birds are Bushtits. We used to live in Danville, CA on a property with lots of trees. I loved watching all of the birds there- we had dozens of different kinds. We are in AZ now and have lots of birds also, including a pair of cardinals that we named Carlos and Consuelo. They come to my back patio and chirp for raw peanuts! Happy Sunday!
they look like baby juncos...
ohhh these little birds:) wonderful pictures!!!!
Awww, that bird is so adorable! I've never heard of that pasta, but I will keep an eye out for it. I love a simple sauce of butter and olive on pasta with fresh veggies. Delicious!
wow, what a wonderful post, amazing pictures!!! thank you as always!
The previous comment accidentally posted as Anonymous. It was me, sorry!
I am so incredibly proud Super Natural Every Day is at #6! You deserve it--there's a lot of love in those recipes and it shows. It was so great seeing you again yesterday! P.S. Sorry I called you ma'am. Old habit. I say ma'am to someone I respect, not to someone I think is old. Glad I could get that off my chest :) HS: I love it when my southern friends break out with a ma'am. Totally irresistible.
This pasta is beautiful and looks like a perfect spring meal. What cute little birds, I wish I had fun spring visitors. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your book, I loved the first one and cannot wait to check out the latest!
Your pasta looks delicious -- I love asparagus! And you new little friend is adorable. Congrats on your book doing so well!
Dear Heidi, Lovely post, as always. I especially loved the bit about the birds - they're such cute little feather balls! I'm writing because I'm so sorry that I missed you yesterday at Mrs. Dalloway's. The bus was delayed by an hour and so there were tons of people getting on and off at every stop...meanwhile I was sitting there impatiently and checking my watch every few seconds. I ran in the door at Mrs. D's at 5:58 and they told me you had just left...is there any chance you'll be doing another signing in the near future? Thanks! HS: Oh Maggie, I'm so so sorry to hear that. We must have absolutely just missed each other. I left so quickly to get to a dinner back in SF :/ I'll definitely let you know when I do another Bay Area signing. I think I'm scheduled to do some cooking at the Ferry Building later this summer.
Heidi, this looks great. I wanted to let you know that I have already cooked three recipes out of your new cook book and all three were great. Tonight my husband is going to cook me one of your recipes, the wild rice casserole. I cant wait to try it. I am sure it will be wonderful. Thank you so much for all of your recipes. You have really changed the way I think about food and they way that I eat for the past year. Thank you
I am loving your cookbook. I'm making the wild rice casserole for Easter dinner. Can't wait to enjoy it!
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