Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 baby zucchini
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chive
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 oz. goat cheese (for crumbling)
  • Crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • Boost Your Mood With This Stress-Busting Meal.

Do you ever crave a big bowl of pasta when you’re feeling stressed? That might be because the carbohydrates in pasta increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a role in your feeling of well-being. This recipe for pasta primavera celebrates spring vegetables with plenty of cheerful green and comforting pasta. Keep it healthy by enjoying a small portion as a side dish paired with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken.

Directions

Serves 6

Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, discarding the tough stems. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the asparagus pieces. Blanch by cooking for two minutes, then place the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to preserve its bright green color. Once cooled, drain the asparagus and set it aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain well and pour into a large bowl. Grate the zest from one lemon over the pasta. Add the juice of the lemon, along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to mix the ingredients together.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Thinly slice zucchini and sauté in the oil, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized (about five minutes). Add the asparagus to the zucchini and cook just until warmed through. Pour the vegetable mixture over the pasta.

Toss pasta with herbs and vegetables to evenly distribute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve family-style on a large platter with crumbled goat cheese and crushed red pepper flakes at the table.

  • Nutrition Facts per Serving
  • Calories 414.5
  • Total Fat 15 g
  • Saturated Fat 3 g
  • Cholesterol 4 mg
  • Sodium (does not include salt to personal preference)!37 mg Total Carbohydrates!55.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
  • Sugars 3 g
  • Protein 11 g

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