It's arrived! August 31st: the last day of winter!
The clouds have been hanging around all morning like an irritating cough that won't go away. But I know something they don't (...well, obviously, because they're just clumps of water vapour); I know that tomorrow is the first day of spring!
I'm aware that I complain a lot about winter. Which is a bit bratty really, given that I'm an Australian and we don't even know the meaning of the word. It's just that spring and sunshine and blue skies are the happiest things! The food is so much more exciting too - salads full of pomegranate seeds, grilled zucchini and handfuls of rocket, bircher muesli topped with fresh mango and strawberries, brightly coloured watermelon smoothies, peach ice-cream, lemon sorbet, gin-soaked fruit! The list goes on, and I'm getting overexcited.
For now, please enjoy this Pasta Primavera (literally 'Springtime Pasta'). You can make it out of whatever seasonal vegetables you like really, but I think fresh peas are always an essential. Stick it in a giant bowl, put on a big floppy hat, a floaty dress, find a deck chair to lounge on and welcome in the next 6 months of sunshine and beaches and 'Screw-it-I-don't-HAVE-to-be-working-and-oh-yes-thank-you-I-WOULD-like-that-cocktail'.
4 brussel sprouts
4 spring onions, cut in half
10 snow peas, ends removed
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 baby zucchinis, sliced lengthways
2 serves penne pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp natural yoghurt (you could also use cream cheese)
Juice and grated rind of half a lemon
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Handful of rocket
Remove the outer leaves of your brussel sprouts. Place in a strainer and briefly pour over boiling water to blanche them. Set aside.
Cook the pasta
While the pasta is cooking, fry the spring onions, baby zucchinis, and half the garlic in 1Tbsp of olive oil until their skin has gone golden. Season to taste with salt and cracked pepper. Add the snow peas and fry for 1 more minute, then remove from heat and set aside.
In the same frying pan, put the cooked pasta, 1 Tbsp olive oil, natural yoghurt, lemon juice and rind, the remaining garlic, and parmesan cheese. Fry on moderate heat for around a minute until the cheese has melted, then add the fried vegetables and blanched brussel spouts.
Toss gently to combine, then serve with extra parmesan cheese and a handful of rocket on top, and some fresh chilli if desired.