It's time for some springtime treats!
You know what kind that is?
It's the green kind.
Fall has caramel and cinnamon, in winter you get clove and orange.
In spring, there are peas. Nature's candy.
Have you had a fresh pea before? I think my first experience of them was joining forces with my cousins to eat each and every one off my aunt's pea trellis.
She uh, she wasn't pleased.
This is a simple springtime pasta dish. Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to love.
You may have to sit and shell peas for a while, but you know what? It's not that bad.
It's actually kind of fun. I got my husband and toddler in on it and turns out it suits all ages!
Well, the little one did a lot more tasting than shelling.
An important job, really.
In fact, I think we should all just follow his example.
Sweet Pea Pasta Alfredo (adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perlman)
Salt to taste
1/2 pound dried pasta
1 cup fresh shelled peas (from about 1 pound in the pod) (you can use frozen or canned if you want, but you'll miss out on the floral sweetness of the fresh)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together.
Dry out the pasta pot and pour in the heavy cream. Bring it to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with freshly ground black pepper; add a pinch of salt and the lemon zest. Add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan and stir it until the sauce is smooth; then toss in the drained pasta and peas. Cook the pasta and sauce together for 2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed if the sauce becomes too thick.
Divide the pasta among bowls and garnish with the remaining Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.