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Creamy Springtime Pasta - total time 20 minutes

Happy first day of Spring!  After a super long winter, man, am I glad it's Spring.  The first flowers are starting to bloom.  We can see hints of green everywhere.  Time to open the windows and let the fresh air and sunshine in!

In honor of Spring starting today, I'm cooking up a quick springtime veggie pasta.  Super quick, creamy, crunchy... perfect for when it's still a little cold outside and you want something comforting but sorta light too.  Asparagus, the poster child of Spring veggies, is the star in this dish.  I used to be afraid to try it... it kind of looks funny and everyone says it makes things smell funny... but now I love it.  And asparagus season is over in a flash, so eat it up while you can!

The other thing about this dish is the toasted garlic panko breadcrumbs.  Man, have I missed out by not toasting these in the past.  This ought to be a requirement in any dish with panko!  And it only takes a few minutes... while your prepping other things... so it adds zero time at all.  Definitely worth it!

1 lb asparagus, chopped
1.5 cup spinach, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups bowtie pasta
.5 cup cream
2 tbsp butter, divided
.25 parm
.5 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

1.  Melt one tablespoon of butter in a pan.  Add garlic and bread crumbs.  Let toast for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside,
2.  Cook pasta according to package.  Chop off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut into half inch pieces leaving the delicate ends a little longer.  Roughly chop the spinach.
3.  Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in pan on medium heat and add in asparagus and onions.  Let cook down for 2 minutes and add spinach.  Cook for another 4 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
4.  Turn heat down a bit (somewhere between low and medium), add room temperature cream, and let it come to a low simmer.  Add salt, pepper, and parm... stir to combine.  Pile in the drained pasta and stir to coat the pasta with sauce.  Add the veggies back in and half of the toasted panko.  Plate the pasta and sprinkle more panko on top for a yummy crunch.

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