Pasta with Peas & Basil
Serves two as a main course; four as a first course
Choose a pasta that can catch the peas, such as small shells, tubetti, or farfalle, or else curly egg noodles, which have just enough twist to nestle the peas and keep them from falling to the bottom of the plate. For a beautiful orange hue and an exotic fragrance, add a couple of pinches of saffron at the same time you add the shallots.
8 oz. curly egg noodles or dried shaped pasta
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup homemade or low-salt canned vegetable or chicken stock, or water; more as neeeded
1-1/2 lb. fresh peas, shucked (to yield 1 to 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt, or to taste
3/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Meanwhile, in a wide skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots; cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by two-thirds and slightly syrupy. When the pasta is just about done boiling, add the stock and the peas to the skillet. Sprinkle with the salt, and cook until the peast are just tender.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche (it needn't melt completely). As soon as the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the pea mixture; it's fine to let some of the pasta water drip into the skillet. Toss with tongs to coat the pasta thoroughly, adding more stock if the pasta seems too dry. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and basil, add a grinding of black pepper, and serve in heated pasta bowls.
nutrition information (per serving):