Scrambled Pasta & Spring Greens

April 3, 2009 at 10:08 am 21 comments

Mache and lettuce seedlings

Finally!  The first edible greens of spring have arrived.  My withering culinary palette couldn’t be happier.  Outside my kitchen door on the deck that will be jammed full of containerized vegetables this summer, a lone container is holding down the fort here in springtime.  It’s the container I had a yellow pear tomato, swiss chard and sorrel in last summer.  After cleaning up the containers last fall, including pulling out the tomato from this one, I kept it for the swiss chard, figuring there was a chance I could keep it going a little longer into the winter with the container sheltered up against the south side of the house.  Wouldn’t you know it; the swiss chard petered out rather quickly but the container stayed put nonetheless since I had no interest in going outside in January.  

Sorrel

Over the past three weeks, I’ve watched in delight as the sorrel, awesome zesty green that it is, began poking up green shoots between last year’s dead “stumps”.  I could barely restrain myself from snipping them off and munching them right away, but I knew the plants needed to get a little growth on those baby leaves so they could capture the sun’s energy and fuel their resurrection.  Good things come to those that wait. 

Pasta and eggs

And indeed my patience was rewarded more than I thought.  While I waited for the sorrel, a dear friend gifted me with a big bag of mache, or lamb’s lettuce, that she received through her fabulous winter CSA via Jack’s Farm in Pottstown, PA.  Mache is still rather uncommon in the States, but it’s a favorite in France due to its nutty flavor and more robust texture than traditional lettuce.  It’s tender enough for fresh salad, but it also withstands light cooking, much like arugala.  I’ve become such a fan, I plan on growing it in my garden this summer. 

Scrambled Pasta and Spring Greens

So now I had two wonderful spring greens on hand as well as some garlic and a dozen beautiful brown eggs that were also part of my friend’s CSA box from Jack’s (see why she’s the best friend ever?).  I remembered seeing an episode on the Food Network some time ago where Giada (I think) made a pasta and egg dish that looked so rustically old-world, it stuck in my head over the years.  Looking at all the fresh local goodies on my counter, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to give such a dish a try. 

A bite with mache

Hearty and filling, Scrambled Pasta & Spring Greens is all that I hoped it would be.  The mache really handled the cooking process well and the flavors were incredibly fresh thanks to the sorrel and basil.  If you are worried about the cholesteral of the eggs, I’m sure using just the whites would work too.  And if you don’t have these exact local greens on hand, try experimenting with others that are available in your area.  I’m sure when asparagus season begins, this dish will make its rounds again in my kitchen. 

 ~

Scrambled Pasta & Spring Greens
A Straight from the Farm Original 

½ lb (half the box) spaghetti or linguini, cooked
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
5 large eggs (or 7 egg whites)
½ C. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 C. (packed) mache, washed and trimmed
1 C. chopped sorrel
½ C. finely chopped basil leaves*

*I used the frozen basil puree I make each fall and freeze into cubes.  One cube, thawed, worked perfectly. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the garlic, green pepper and red pepper flakes until the vegetables are tender and just barely starting to brown at the edges.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper.  If using thawed basil puree, add it to the eggs and whisk well to combine.

Place the cooked pasta, mache and sorrel in the skillet and toss with tongs to get everything combined.  Pour over the egg mixture and toss until eggs begin to set up.  You may need to scrape the bottom of the skillet with the spatula to lift the eggs up a bit.  If using fresh basil, add it soon after the eggs and continue to toss to combine. 

When eggs are set to your liking (about 4-5 minutes), remove skillet from heat and serve pasta with extra Parmesan.  I also put some goat cheese on it when I had it again the next day.  Good reheated gently in the microwave. 

(serves 6)

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21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. curiousdomestic  |  April 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my Peeps post! I like your blog very much. Nice collection of info. Cheers!

    Reply
  • 2. thebitessite  |  April 3, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Really spring-like and refreshing looking. A perfect light pasta dish…

    Reply
  • 3. Chelle  |  April 5, 2009 at 10:44 am

    That sounds so good, I never would have thought to use egg whites in a sauce before. (I’m experimental, but not too creative on my own!) We’ll hopefully be starting our garden here soon, I cannot wait!

    Reply
  • 4. Alison  |  April 5, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Wow…that looks incredible! So fresh and light. Looks pretty easy too. I just found your blog and will definitely start reading it regularly.

    Reply
    • 5. Jennie  |  April 6, 2009 at 6:54 am

      Welcome, Alison! So glad you found the site and enjoying the post(s). Come back often! :)

      Reply
  • 6. J.T.  |  April 5, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Definitely trying out this recipe in the near future, thanks for sharing! Only wish our fresh basil was large enough to use…AH patience!

    Reply
  • 7. lo  |  April 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Oh, what a great dish. And a great idea. So very fresh, and yet it would definitely fill a person up.

    LOVE that last photo…

    Reply
    • 8. Jennie  |  April 6, 2009 at 6:56 am

      Lo – It was very filling! I guess it was the protien from the eggs. Glad you like it! :)

      Reply
  • 9. Louise  |  April 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Oh how “purty” that looks. I am so looking forward to this year in gardening.

    Happy Birthday Jennie! (I know it’s a day early but I didn’t want to forget:)

    Reply
    • 10. Jennie  |  April 7, 2009 at 10:26 am

      Louise – Thank you! :) How did you know that it’s my birthday? Sneaky. There may be a cake post forthcoming. :)

      Reply
      • 11. Louise  |  April 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm

        Hi Jennie,
        I knew it was your birthday because (drum roll…) today is Coffee Cake Day!! and you left a comment last Coffee Cake Day!!!

        I’m thinking about “borrowing” this link for “Green Thursday” this week. I’m in PA and not sure if I will be posting but if I do, this dish is just perfect!

        Reply
  • 12. Melly  |  April 7, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Okay…I am saving this recipe. I am turning my backyard into a veggie garden this year and the greens are in the ground.

    Just lucious. Thanks! Nice blog.

    Reply
  • 13. Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener  |  April 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    That’s an interesting way to use mache that’s just about to bolt (at leas that what it looks it’s doing on the picture). As much as I love mache, and I grow it throughout the winter when it provides greens, I have never cooked with (i.e. applied heat to it.)
    A new thing to try! yeah!
    But I probably have to wait till next fall as mine – in Virginia – is now bolting for real.

    Reply
  • 14. Jane Nguyen  |  April 19, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Yum! I love eggs w/ pasta! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • 15. Cate  |  May 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    that last bite looks so tasty. and the recipe? so going to try it out over the weekend with my fresh greens. super yum.

    Reply
    • 16. Jennie  |  May 8, 2009 at 7:59 am

      Thanks, Cate! This is definitely a great weekend meal, best eaten al fresco in a puddle of sunshine. :)

      Reply
  • 17. Andrea  |  May 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    What a gorgeous blog! Adding to my favs! Love the pasta dish idea – my daughter is a huge fan of both pasta and eggs so this will be a hit for sure!

    Reply
    • 18. Jennie  |  May 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

      Thanks so much, Andrea! Let me know how your daughter likes it. :)

      Reply
  • 19. The PTP Blog  |  May 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    [...] to eat it all and have tried quite a few new recipes, like Chard and Prosciutto Risotto and Scrambled Pasta with Spring Greens. We have frozen some carrots and sautéed some [...]

    Reply
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