I stopped at the farmer's market on Sunday afternoon and found fresh English peas for my Meatless Monday dinner. I am not a big pea-eater, but fresh ones seemed way more appealing than the peas in the freezer. I found a Cooking Light recipe for Pasta Primavera which combined peas, squash and carrots with a light creamy sauce and seemed fairly family-friendly. I used the Barilla-plus pasta to lower the carbs and up the fiber. With a little kitchen help, this dish came together really quickly.
I debated about whether or not we should blanch the peas (the Cooking Light recipe did not call for that step) and decided that they might get overcooked if I did. Big mistake: my nice freshly shelled peas were rather firm. So, my version of the recipe, in addition to adding extra herbs, cheese and garlic, calls for blanching the peas:
- 1 1/2 cups baby carrots
- 3 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups yellow squash, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup shelled green peas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash; sauté 3 minutes. Add carrots, peas, salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add the peas to pot and blanch for about 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Stir in the wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in cream and juice; cook 1 minute.
- Add the pasta and cheese to the pan and stir well to coat.
- Remove the pan from from heat and stir in the basil, thyme and parsley.
- Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
Prep time: 30 minutes
W was a big fan – he ate two large bowls. I thought that it was good, but if I made it again, in addition to blanching the peas, would probably double the sauce and make it in a separate pan so that it could cook down and thicken a bit before I add it to the pasta.