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Spring Dinner

Roasted asparagus, poached farm egg and Vivace cheese

This is a wonderful little appetizer that takes less than 20 minutes to make. Sliver asparagus, then toss with extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt; roast for 15 minutes at 375 F. Top with a poached egg and shaved Parmesan cheese. In the pic, I used Vivace cheese, an artisanal cheese made at Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, Connecticut. Vivace is a cross between Provolone and Gruyere; any similarly flavored cheese will work just fine, or even some fresh ricotta. A non-vegetarian version that I occasionally make has shreds of jamón ibérico (Iberian ham), chopped hazelnuts and pea shoots.

Thin spaghetti with spring greens and breadcrumbs

Click here for a large-size version of this picture.

1 pound thin spaghetti
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch ramps
3 ounces baby arugula
1 bunch upland cress (substitute regular watercress if unavailable)
red pepper flakes
kosher salt
3 T. breadcrumbs

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook according to the package directions, until tender but still al dente.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Separate ramps by the white root ends and the leafy green top. Add root ends to the pan and sauté until tender. Add salt and red pepper flakes. At the very end, add the cress, ramp leaves and baby arugula and sauté until wilted. Drain pasta and add it to the sauté pan. Toss gently to coat the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, then serve immediately.

Time: 30 minutes, including prep.

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