As the warm weather starts to make an appearance, most families will find themselves wanting to be out in the fresh air more. Who wants to stay inside cooking all day when there is such beautiful weather outside? Well, you don’t have to if you use either one of these One-Pot meal recipes. They are fast, easy, and clean-up is a breeze.
Spring pasta dish
This dish uses three of spring’s most delicious veggies and adds them to one of everyone’s favorite foods, pasta!
- 1 cup fresh asparagus, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 4 radishes, slice or dice very thin
- 1 box of pasta, use shapes like shells or ziti
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 4 tsp. lemon juice (fresh if you can)
- 2 tsp. lemon zest, (separate into two 1 tsp.)
- 1/4 cup salt (sea salt is the best)
- ¼ tsp. salt (sea salt is the best)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped finely
1. Grab a bowl and stir together the lemon juice, the ricotta cheese, the one tsp. of lemon zest, and the ¼ tsp. of salt.
2. Fill a saucepan with ¼ cup of salt, add water and heat it until it boils.
3. Add pasta to the boiling water, and a dash of olive oil. Stir the pasta immediately to avoid clumping, and continue stirring as it cooks. You can test the pasta by throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks. Yes, that really does work. Or, you can cut open a piece to make sure the middle is cooked through. Cooking times vary depending on the type of pasta, so check the instructions on the packet.
4. When the pasta is ready, add your peas and the asparagus, and cook for an additional three minutes. Then go ahead and drain the water. Keep a ¼ cup of the water the pasta cooked in to use in a moment.
5. Stick the pasta back in the empty pot, off the heat. Add your oil and your radish pieces, plus the pasta water, and mix well.
6. Get out your serving plate and spread half of the ricotta/lemon mixture on the bottom, add the pasta mixture, and then cover with the rest of the ricotta/lemon mixture. Decorate the top with the fresh mint for a beautiful touch and Enjoy!
Spring: Italian Style
This Tuscan Panzanella dish is delicious, fresh, crisp and full of yummy vegetables and as a bonus, it looks gorgeous!
- 3 cups of cubed bread, stale works well for this, and you can use a baguette, Italian loaf, or ciabatta bread.
- 4 cups of tomatoes, you can use any tomatoes and chunk them up, but it is very pretty if you get either tiny cherry tomatoes in a variety of colors or regular cherry tomatoes in assorted colors and slice them in half.
- ½ cup to 1 cup sliced red onion, be sure to slice the onion as thinly as you can.
- 1 cup mozzarella, you can shave it, cube it or slice it, shavings look the best.
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar. Another flavor will also work if you prefer.
- 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, it is important to use extra virgin, so it has that light taste and color.
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, you can also use one tsp. if dried oregano
- ½ cup basil leaves, torn or chopped.
- Salt, sea salt is best.
1. Space your cubed bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for about ten minutes. They should be a lovely shade of golden brown and be nice and dry.
2. In a bowl, mix your tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, and oregano. Then add the vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt if you desire.
3. Next, place your bread in a serving dish and add the bowl with everything else to the bread. Stir well. The point of this dish is to let the bread soak up all of the delicious flavors of the olive oil and vinegar, so let it sit for 30 minutes before serving. It will also be delicious hours later.
4. Just before serving, drizzle a little more vinegar and olive oil over the top, add the basil, toss the dish, and then serve. Enjoy!
In spring, you can often find fresh produce, and most meal choices tend to be lighter fare as the weather warms up. A one-pot meal for spring can be a delicious break from the heartier meals that most people tend to gravitate towards in the winter months. Use these recipes to get on out there and enjoy the Spring weather!