Spring has arrived in Florida. It is nice to be able to walk out the door in sandles and summer clothes. The birds are singing and soon the manatees will be returning to the canals in our area with their pups. Last year I was down on our dock when a huge manatee appeared. I had heard that they like to drink fresh water, so I turned on the hose. Slowly he made his way over to me and lifted his huge head up out of the water and drank his fill. He then turned over on his back and let me spray his belly with the fresh water. I was in awe of this beautiful creature.
A friend and I went to the Farmer’s Market on Friday and loaded up on fresh produce. The Florida strawberries were beautiful and the asparagus was refreshingly crisp and green. I had leftover red pepper pesto from my last post so I incorporated it into a spring pasta dish full of fresh vegetables and chicken. I highly recommend this pesto. It was great on the appetizer, wonderful added to a pizza and now in this pasta dish.
We are returning to Lake Lure March 31st. Friends have told us that the weather has been lovely there, so I am looking forward to the soft greens of the budding trees and the pinks and whites of the dogwoods in bloom. All of us have endured a long winter. It is good to anticipate the spring season.
RED PEPPER PESTO PASTA PRIMAVERA
2 boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into thirds, blanched and put into ice water to set color and stop the cooking
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1 cup red pepper pesto (see previous post)
12 ounces tri-colored linguini
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, brown chicken in olive oil until no longer pink. Remove from pan. Add more olive oil if necessary and saute, red and green pepper, onion, and carrots until crisp tender. Return chicken and asparagus to skillet. Add red pepper pesto and a little water. Stir to combine ingredients.
Cook pasta according to package directions. When done scoop out some of the pasta water. Drain pasta and add to skillet with chicken and vegetables. Add some of the pasta water if it is too dry. Toss to combine. Season to taste and serve.