Easy pasta with asparagus {The art of being busy}


I didn’t know what busy was until I had a child.

And after I had little S 5 years ago, I also started this web site, which has turned into my source of income.

Busy got even busier.

Once upon a time, I had a Jack Russell, an apartment in NYC’s Chinatown, a job as a copywriter and a carefree life.

But now there are errands to do, ballet, swimming, art work, bed time stories, baths, dinner, housework, blog posts to write, recipes to create, food tastings, gifts to buy, thank you cards, birthday cards, cakes to bake, runs to the post office, laundry, play dates, museums to visit, emails, social media, food shopping and somewhere amid the busyness of the day, sleep, so I can wake up and do it all over again. Ahhh….

But I love it all. I created a child and this life I love.

And thankfully I don’t have to commute, I don’t have a boss and I don’t have to sit at a desk all day. (I’m at my dining room table at the moment, sipping my favorite tea and listening to Pandora. For lunch I had leftover very easy-to-make pasta, which you’ll find below.).

And I am able to be there for S 100%.

Yet I can get easily overwhelmed if there’s a lot to do—it must be part of my personality, and I accept that.

So what do to? I don’t want to run around stressed out all day—that’s not healthy.

I break it down, and I breathe a lot. I make sure I do what’s absolutely essential each day (my child needs to eat ; ). I make quick lists of what I intend to do each each day, which in the morning I send to my friend Carmel (and she sends me hers).

Breaking it down, not-too-long lists, and deep breaths can help get it all done (and the sweet reminder that this is the life I created). And if something doesn’t get done right away, it’s really not the end of the world, like that pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed because you have a lot to do?


When I was in Milwaukee last summer, I visited a wonderful spice shop in the old world Third Street area during a food tour (which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Wisconsin). The Spice House has been a fixture in Milwaukee since 1957. It was founded by the current owner’s parents, The Penzey’s, who created what is now Penzey’s Spices, a well-known mail order company.

While at The Spice House I discovered a blend that I used in this pasta.

Bay View Tuscan Seasoning was named for an area of Milwaukee;it adds a robust flavor to olive oil for a dip, rubs and this pasta sauce.

While can be fun to buy new blends, it’s also not necessary. You can use a pinch of crushed chili pepper to add some heat and flavor.

If you’re in the New York area, you can also find some great spice shops in NYC iFoodShop.

Music: Le Temps de l’Amour by Francoise Hardy
Wine: Villa Matilde Greco di Tufo 2010

Orecchiette with asparagus

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot


  • 1/2 pound of orecchiette (or another small-shaped pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound of asparagus, bottoms trimmed and cut into small slices
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of Tuscan Seasoning from The Spice House ((or a pinch of crushed chili pepper) )
  • Sea salt + freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • fresh juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • Parmesan, shaved on top, to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over low-medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, so it’s fragrant. Add asparagus, spice (a blend or crushed pepper), salt + pepper, if desired, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add tomato and sauté for another minute. Add lemon juice and wine, and simmer just until asparagus is cooked, about 3-4 minutes. If you need additional liquid, use water from the pasta by using a large spoon.
Combine asparagus mixture with pasta then top with shaved Parmesan.

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