Spaghetti, Asparagus and Breadcrumbs: Seasonal Chef Recipe


After a long week all I was looking for was an easy spaghetti recipe. A few weeks back I read about a spaghetti recipe on the Smitten Kitchen web site and had it in my mind ever since. Putting my spin on things I used asparagus to give a a slightly heartier meal appeal. To read more about this recipe click this link: Making an easy dinner with spaghetti.

Grilled Apricots and Mustard Green Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Apricots and Mustard Green Salad

This easy salad can be put together while you are grilling the rest of your dinner. Make sure the grill is hot and the grates have a little oil on them, so the fruit doesn't stick


  • 4 slightly firm apricots, halved and pitted
  • Avocado or canola oil
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens, stems removed and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese, optional


  1. Brush the apricots with oil and grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Be sure you also wipe the grill grates with a little oil to help the fruit from not sticking.
  2. Place the mustard greens in a bowl. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and honey in a small jar and shake to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dress the salad and taste for seasoning.
  4. Top with the warm fruit and goat cheese if using.


Look for salad greens with a little bite that will compliment the sweetness of the fruit.

Spaghetti, Asparagus and Spicy Breadcrumbs
Serves 3-4

1/2 box  spaghetti
Kosher salt
1 cup stale baguette breadcrumbs, or 1/2 cup panko (see note)
1 bunch of asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
Red chili flakes
3-4 eggs, optional
Grated parmesan cheese
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Good fruity olive oil for finishing

1. Put a pot of water on to boil, and salt it. Once it boils add the pasta and set the time to al dente.
2. If using a stale baguette loaf, roughly chop it and either pulse a few times in the food processor, or tear with your hands. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Trim the hard stalks from the asparagus and chop into 1″ pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and cook the asparagus until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a few scrapes of lemon zest. Place in a very large bowl.
4. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the minced garlic and a pinch of chili flakes. Just when they starts to barely sizzle add the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Toast them for about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Remove and set in a separate bowl. If you want to top your dish with a fried egg, wipe the pan and add a teeny bit of oil.
5. The pasta should be done at that point, so drain it, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the asparagus and toss.
6. Add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan and parsley to the asparagus-pasta and toss. Drizzle in a little of the reserved pasta water to make it a little creamy. Zest the lemon over the pasta and add a little more cheese and water to get it to your liking. While you are tossing the pasta fry your eggs if desired.
7. At the end toss in the bread crumbs and garnish with more cheese, parsley and a drizzle of good olive oil. Top with the fried egg and serve immediately.



About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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