spring peas & mint

April 7, 2014 § 75 Comments

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Tender sweet peas are showing up at the market and what could be better than a springtime pasta. English peas and mint are always a natural pair, and I always love combining the two.  If you are a fan of spaghetti carbonara, consider this its kin, with bacon instead of guanciale, parmesan instead of pecorino, and no eggs.  I would say it’s a lighter version of carbonara, but I can’t.  It has heavy cream.  And you wouldn’t want to leave it out.  For once, enjoy the cream,  it’s worth it.   This recipe is from Saveur Magazine.  The mint will make you smile.  The peas will give you spring fever and the bacon…well, you know.  And besides, it smells fantastic!

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I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 pound penne
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, serrano, or bacon
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

M e t h o d

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta liquid.
Meanwhile, if you are using bacon, cook over medium heat until crisp, remove from the skillet and set aside.  If you are using fresh peas; discard the bacon fat and return the same skillet to medium high heat and roll your peas around until tender, about 5 minutes. This step is unnecessary if you are using prosciutto and thawed frozen peas.
Next, boil the cream in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.  Add the pasta and peas. tossing occasionally until the sauce begins to cling to the pasta, about 5 minutes.  Add the parmesan, and season with salt and pepper.  Add reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.  Fold in the bacon and mint.
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