Recipe: Spring Pasta

A pasta dish from Cork Wine Pub is bursting with the tastes of the season

RUBEN GRIFFIN, executive chef at Cork Wine Pub in Pleasant Ridge, says this dish highlights four of the first real crops in Michigan —  “first being maple syrup, which I love to cook with. I personally like the grade C, but B would be acceptable. Maple syrup adds a rich and subtly sweet flavor to savory dishes.” Next would be the morels and asparagus, “which, served together, tastes like those first days of a wet spring: earthy and green.” Then the spring onion, “shoots that just pop from the ground and are more subtle in flavor than the bulb themselves. I added the tomato for color and for things to look forward to in the coming months of summer.”

> Spring pasta

Photograph by Joe Vaughn
(Serves 4)

16 ounces orecchiette pasta
6 ounces morel mushrooms, cut in half
(quartered if very large)
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
8 asparagus stalks cut on the bias, 1/4 inch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup white wine,
(preferably pinot gris or sauvignon blanc)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 ounces butter plus one tablespoon*
3 spring onions, sliced thin

Cook pasta in salted water, drain, and toss with a dash of oil to prevent sticking. Place *1 tablespoon of butter into sauté pan over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and tomatoes, sauté 3 minutes. Add asparagus, garlic, and shallot and sauté 2 more minutes. Add white wine and reduce by 50-70 percent. Add maple syrup and butter and remove from heat. Stir until just incorporated. Toss in pasta and spring onions and serve.

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