The mint growing out in our garden is already flourishing so I was eager to use it in a light, vibrant pasta dish the other day. It had also been a long while since I’d cooked with heavy cream and as I had some in the fridge leftover from a dessert made a week or so ago, I decided to use it in this extremely simple, quick, family-friendly creamy pasta with peas and fresh mint.
This dish takes mere minutes to prepare, but then again most pasta dishes are ready before you can even say, “Al Dente!” Grated lemon zest really brightens up the pasta and goes well with the mint. This is one of my husband’s favorite pasta dishes and the kids gobble it up pretty quickly too. Enjoy!
Pasta with Peas in a Minted Cream Sauce — Ζυμαρικά με Aρακά και Δυόσμο
1 lb. pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine)
1 lb. peas
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente, adding peas halfway through cooking as well. Drain the pasta and peas by removing with a slotted spoon or tongs from the pot of water directly into a large bowl (don’t drain the pasta completely as you want some cooking liquid to remain). Drizzle the pasta and peas with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Toss well and set aside.
Drain the cooking liquid from the pot. Add the cream to the pot and bring almost to a simmer. Stir in the lemon zest and mint. Add a couple tablespoons or so of olive oil and stir well. Season with some salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the pasta and peas back into the pot and stir well to coat with the cream sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over and mix well. Heat for a couple of minutes longer until the sauce has thickened slightly; if needed, add a couple of tablespoons of cream to more evenly coat the pasta. Adjust seasonings and serve garnished with additional mint if desired.