*Change your menu...lighten it up. Eat vegetables that are in season. eat less meat and try to eat only local produce and food. You will be amazed at the difference in taste. It is good for the body and environment. See my favorite Spring pasta recipe, made with fresh Spring vegetables.
Pasta Ortolano (Green Grocer style pasta)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb organic spinach, washed and chopped in long 3 inch pieces
1 lb very skinny asparagus (chop off the ends, about 2 inches, and discard) cut the rest of the asparagus in 2 inch lengths
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb Spring Peas, shelled
1 tsp sea salt
1 box Penne Rigate Pasta
1 oz Parmesan Cheese, grated
Bring the oil to a med-high heat. Put all the ingredients in a low pan and saute, stirring constantly until the spinach is wilted and the asparagus is soft, but not wilted, and the peas are tender but not mushy.
Cook the pasta until al dente (with a little give to the pasta, about 12-15 minutes.) Make sure to boil the pasta in salted water with 1 tsp of sea salt.
Save the pan that the pasta was cooked in. Put 1/2 of the vegetable mixture at the bottom of the pan. Then pour in all the pasta and pour the remaining cooked vegetables on top. Toss the pasta and sauce, adding a grinding of sea salt to finish.
Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and serve with a light sparkling white wine like Italian Prosecco.
*Do a light Spring cleaning. Clear out excess furniture and things that crowd your living space. The Victorians changed their decor every season to be in tune with the environment. Pare down and keep the interior light and clutter free. Bring in fresh flowers and plants from the outdoors. Make small displays of living, flowering plants and the lovely branches of freshly bloomed fruit trees. The effect is uplifting and positive. It will make you feel fresh and invigorated. Living in harmony with nature creates a sense of well being and balance.
*Go outside. When the weather is nice go outside and enjoy the sun. Let the vitamin D permeate your skin. The body needs vitamin D for many reasons. Vitamin D helps keep bones strong and protects against hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer and several auto-immune diseases. Only 10 minutes per day of sun exposure is enough to give you the vitamin D you need. Besides letting the sun keep you healthy, nice weather encourages exercise and walking. If you cannot run or bike, simply walk around your neighborhood for 30 minutes. Keeping active is very important for a healthy state of mind a fit body. Being outside helps you connect with people in your neighborhood.
The Spring makes connecting with people a natural way of life. Enjoy the outdoors, It is good for the body and soul.
*Play music. Some of my favorite CD's are oldies from the 60's & 70's. The Beatles, James Brown, Al Green, Marvin Gaye. The soul of these artists comes through in their amazing music and makes you want to dance. If you feel like it, dance. It does wonders for a sense of well being.
*Listen to children at play. One thing I love about Spring is that children are back outdoors and playing. I open my windows and listen to the laughter of children at play and I know all is right in the world.
*Be cheerful and smile. Smiles lead to laughter and nothing makes you feel better than a good laugh. Follow the lyrics of the song "Don't Worry...Be happy."
I hope you enjoy my favorite springtime pasta recipe!