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There are a few recipes in my recipe files that began as an idea for something else.
Have you ever found a recipe and gotten excited about the prospect of making it. Then, you took the time to gather all of the ingredients together only to find that you’re missing one or two key items which would alter the taste or would dramatically change the way the dish was served? It can be so disappointing, can’t it? This has happened to me on more than
one a few occasions but the funny thing is, often by using exactly what I have on hand, I end up with something unique and utterly delicious.
To be clear, there are times when this has happened and dinner was an epic failure. Like the time I set out to make salmon cakes without a lot of breading and they ended up being a fried pile of mush; or the time I made a simple strawberry pancake without a key ingredient and the color and texture was so off-putting that even my puppy wouldn’t eat what fell to the floor. I prefer not talking about those episodes. I try to convince myself that every recipe will be perfect the first time. Well, it ain’t so. It…just….ain’t…so.
Pasta With Fresh Mint and Sweet Peas is a recipe that came from an idea my husband gave me. A few weeks ago, he was on a business trip overseas and told me about a side dish he had one evening that he described as pea puree with an underlying mint flavor.
Our conversation inspired me to attempt to make a pea puree the next night for dinner to go along with grilled chicken breasts that I was certain I had in my freezer but…you guessed it, I didn’t have any chicken…or fish…or even ground beef! I couldn’t serve up a plate of minty mashed peas to my kids without anything else. But one item I did have was pasta and so this became…Pasta With Fresh Mint and Sweet Peas.
Peas and mint go well together so I knew this could be something very flavorful. I began by heating olive oil in a pan and added thinly sliced shallots and garlic. After the shallots and garlic cooked for a couple of minutes, I added in the peas and fresh mint, covered the pan and let them steam. Using the back of my spoon, I mashed a few of the peas but left most whole. At the end, I added some butter and tossed in the pasta and scattered a hefty sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese over the top.
I love the simplicity of this dish. It’s fresh and tastes great and is an easy meal for a busy weeknight. I was glad I only had pasta in my pantry and didn’t give up the peas and mint recipe idea. It totally worked out in the end.
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Pasta With Fresh Mint And Sweet Peas
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas (if using frozen thaw first)
- 16 tablespoons butter
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat.
- Add the slices of shallot and the garlic and stir for a minute.
- Pour in the mint and the peas and stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan.
- Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
- Add the pasta and toss to combine. Top with parmesan cheese.