I love asparagus, but I am so tired of just steaming it. I was looking for another option when I found this recipe for Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas from the New York Times Cooking. So I decided to give it a try in the Delaney Test Kitchen.
You’ll see that the recipe calls for crème fraiche or whole milk Greek yogurt. I went the yogurt route to be a little more healthy, but I could see how the crème fraiche would have added more flavor.
I also felt that there wasn't enough sauce, so I used 1/4 cup of the pasta water when I mixed it all together and that worked great.
I also used Buitoni Fettuce from the supermarket instead of making my own pasta for this one, since I needed it as a quick mid-week meal and I didn’t have any more fresh pasta on hand. Two packages was too much – I’d recommend using a 1 ½ packages instead.
I love veggies in my pasta, so this was a win for me. My kids, not so much. But I will try again since it was so easy. Try for yourself and let me know what you think!
Pasta Primavera with Asparagus and Peas:
The Delaney Test Kitchen was excited to try this recipe from @NYTCooking that included Feta, since a) I am always looking for something interesting to cook in our cast iron pan (it feels more Southern than a regular saute pan), and b) after the success of TikTok Feta, I was eager to try another Feta recipe.
This one was more of a hit with the adults than the kids, but I really loved it since it included two of my favorite things – dill and olives. I think with one minor change it will work with everyone. The recipe calls for cooking the orzo in chicken broth or water. I found it to be so much more flavorful with the broth, but not as appetizing to my little picky eater. So if you have one of those, you may want to just use water.
My favorite flavor in this dish was from the dill. It was a nice change from what we normally expect from chicken and pasta, and it always pairs well with feta.
If you try this one, please let me know how it goes!
Skillet Chicken with Orzo, Dill and Feta
I am so tired of my standard chicken recipes, and I seem to have a lot of extra buttermilk around these days from all of my baking experiments. So I was excited to come across this recipe for Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken from NYT Cooking. This recipe is adapted from Samin Nosrat’s "Salt Fat Acid Heat" (which I loved) and is inspired by the Southern grandma method of marinating chicken overnight in buttermilk before frying it. This was an easy recipe to follow, and as promised the skin was nice and crispy and the chicken was juicy and perfect. The boys made it disappear. We’ll be adding this to the rotation. The only thing that makes this a little tricky is that you need to think about it the night before so that it has time to properly marinate. And since you have to take it out of the fridge an hour ahead of cooking, my recommendation is to cook this on a Friday or Saturday night when you may have just a little bit more time. Beyond that, enjoy! And let me know how yours turns out!
Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken, by Samin Nosrat
Have you heard of nutritional yeast? I had not. So when I found this yummy-sounding recipe for Creamy Vegan Pasta, I was surprised as I tried to line up all the ingredients and found Nutritional Yeast on the list.
How had I not heard of this before? It has 5g of protein per serving, and is packed with B vitamins, and is an excellent source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid and Vitamins B6 and B12. It is used as an additive to add a savory cheese-like flavor to vegan recipes. I found it next to the regular yeast in the supermarket aisle.
This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Love and Lemons. I could not get my kids to eat it, but I thought it was as yummy as I expected. So this is a Working Mom Dinner but for my house – it’s only really for you and maybe one other possible diner. Plus I found that the sauce was really only enough for two servings. (Perhaps I was heavy handed since it was yummy.) Another option is to save the second serving for an easy lunch the next day.
If you live in Atlanta and have been to Mirko Pasta, this sauce reminds me of that fabulous white bean dip they serve with your fresh Italian bread. Yum.
On the Love and Lemons website, they also recommend experimenting with this dish. Some of their suggestions include:
If you try this one, please let me know how it turns out. And let me know if your kids like it, too.
Creamy Vegan Pasta (serves 4)
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.