We picked the last of the peas from our garden last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them, make a creamy parmesan pasta from a very versatile recipe. You could use substitute almost any vegetable, or even use frozen peas. I modified a recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook about 20 years ago and find it's a great last minute what's for dinner dish!
Additional ingredients include a cup of heavy cream, a half stick of butter, any kind of pasta you have on hand and parmesan cheese. From the spice cupboard grab salt, cayenne pepper, dill weed, garlic powder and nutmeg (I grate mine).
The cream and butter go into a skillet on medium low, along with the cayenne, nutmeg and salt. Start with a pinch of each then taste for balance.
Stir frequently for 15 minutes, scraping the sides of the skillet as it thickens. At this point, reduce heat to simmer and stir often as you change your focus to the pasta.
At this point I add pasta and the peas to boiling salted water. These fettuccini nests only take 5 minutes and so do the peas. If I was using frozen peas, I'd add them now, too. If you use something like broccoli, I'd add it to the water 3 minutes before the pasta is done. Want to use zucchini or red pepper instead? I'd saute those in a little olive oil and add it at the end. You get the idea!
While the pasta is cooking, stir in a half cup of grated parmesan, a good shake of garlic powder and a 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed.
See how the sauce thickens?
Once the pasta is done, drain it and dump it in the sauce. Serve with extra parmesan to sprinkle on top.
If you're watching carbs, this sauce works very well over spiralized zucchini noodles instead of the pasta. If you're a pescatarian, you can add some baked salmon at the end. Enjoy!