Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Simple Supper

It's secret that I love Penzey's (also known as Spice Heaven) - their spices and herbs cover the 3 'F's: they're incredibly fresh, flavorful and frugal. Yup, I said it: frugal. I mail-order, so I do pay shipping, which puts a slight damper on things, but going by weight alone, Penzey's is actually cheaper than the supermarket brands. I also like that you can order spices in different sizes, they have a wide variety (most spices come in different types and from different sources), and you can purchase in both jars and bags.

My favourite spice is a blend called Mural of Flavor. It's composed of shallots, onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander, lemon peel, citric acid, black pepper, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, and orange peel - a little eclectic, just like me. I like that it's salt-free, and it's perfect in everything, adding that little bit of je ne sais quoi. I know this because I do add it to literally everything, which is now a running joke in our house - just ask E.

One day, when I was looking around Penzey's site, I noticed they had recipes listed, and, upon searching, found Pasta with Asparagus and Feta. A vegetarian meal that's quick, fairly healthy and satisfying; who could ask for more? Me. That's who. And, by golly, I got it. The key component to this sauceless dish? Mural of Flavor! Yup, it's pretty much perfect. Including boiling the pasta, this dish took about 10 minutes from start to finish, and is incredibly delicious and satisfying, but not heavy. I served this with roasted zucchini, and E and I both loved it. If you're not an asparagus fan, it would be delicious with zucchini, cauliflower or even green beans, and if you don't have Mural of Flavor (which you should!), you can use any salt-free spice blend you enjoy.

Pasta with Asparagus and Feta

Found on Penzey's Spices
Serves 4
  • 1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 2 teaspoons Mural of Flavor (or other salt-free seasoning blend)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt (optional) and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and brown the onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus and seasoning and saute for 2 more minutes.
  4. Stir in the warm pasta, and sprinkle the top with feta cheese.
  5. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes. The asparagus will have a little crunch to it, depending on how long you let it sit.


Donna said...

i am sure there are some people out there that don't like asparagus for some reason so thanks for the alternatives

love mommy

E said...

Yeah, that stuff was great!