Spring is in full swing and it’s time to enjoy all of the fresh vegetables coming into local markets.
Scallions, radishes, beets, asparagus, snow peas, spinach and other greens are all in season now.
Fresh spring vegetables seem particularly well-suited to pasta dishes.
The accompanying pastas are all essentially 30-minute meals — one-dish wonders that incorporate a starch, vegetable and protein all in the same dish.
Everything you need can be prepared in the time it takes to boil a pot of water and cook some noodles.
For a warm day or for lighter appetites, consider seafood. Asparagus goes great with shrimp and crab in the accompanying recipe, which features garlic, lemon and butter. It gets a little sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs on top for crunch.
The crab is a splurge, but this is just as good if you skip the crab and double the shrimp. It also makes a good vegetarian meal if you substitute sauteed mushrooms for the seafood.
If you want something a bit richer, try chicken Alfredo with snow peas and red bell peppers. The crunch of barely crisp-tender snow peas pairs beautifully with the creamy Parmesan sauce and fettuccine.
For red-meat lovers, there is sausage, spinach and black olives in farfalle (bowtie pasta). This is a robust dish with a bit of a spicy kick. The base sauce has so much flavor and is so quick and easy to make that you may want to use it for other dishes, too.