This addictive pasta dish is light, fresh, easy, and most importantly, delicious. The combination of lemon and mint is to me, the ultimate taste of springtime. Feel free to switch the veggies around, frozen peas instead of artichoke hearts, arugula instead of spinach, parsley in place of mint, etc. If you planned ahead and defrosted your artichokes, chop them up and add them in with the other veggies when the pasta is cooked halfway though, if not, follow the instructions below.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 leek, sliced
- 4 frozen artichoke hearts
- 3 cups water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 300g pasta (I like a long think pasta like fettuchini, but any will work)
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends chopped off, and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- Baby spinach, a few good handfuls
- 1/2 lemon, juice
Combine the olive oil, chili flakes, lemon zest, leeks, and artichokes in a large pan with high sides. Place over medium high heat, add a generous pinch of salt, and sauté for 6-7 minutes, until the leeks start to soften. Add the water and bouillon cube and stir to break up the bouillon cube before adding in your pasta. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Stir every 2 minutes, and after 4-5 minutes, add in the zucchini and asparagus (and artichokes had they been previously defrosted and chopped). Continue to cook, covered, until the pasta is al dente. I find this takes 2-3 minutes more than the time indicated on the bag. Once the pasta is cooked, break up the artichokes, either with a knife in the pan, or by removing them and cutting them up then adding them back in. Add the mint, baby spinach, and lemon juice. Stir and cover for 2 minutes, allowing the spinach to wilt. Taste for salt and pepper and enjoy!