The Best Peas and Pasta

Peas are far more versatile than they’re given credit for. It’s likely you’re used to something like a pile of peas, topped with a little pat of salted butter, rolling away on your plate. But so much more can be done with peas! They can be braised, roasted or pureed into a hummus type dip or a creamy sauce base like this recipe. If you buy whole pea pods, they’re great as a raw snack, sliced and added to salads, or sauteed or even grilled. This recipe features a thick, creamy, garlicy sauce made from pureed peas. Peas are a good plant-based protein high in fiber and they’re an excellent addition to something like pasta. Top this with grilled chicken or shrimp and consider garnishing with some chopped sun-dried tomato to complete the meal.

6 ounces medium pasta shells (or your favorite shape)

Creamy Pea Sauce:
2 shallots, finely chopped (or 1/2 cup onion)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
1 1/4 cups water, more as needed
1 lemon (lemon juice and zest for garnish)
1/3 cup fresh mint, packed (or substitute part flat-leaf parsley, but mint is so good!)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon miso paste
3 Tablespoons hemp hearts (substitute almond butter or tahini)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice plus some zest for garnish

Make Pasta: Bring water to boil for pasta and cook pasta according to directions.

Start sauce: At the same time, chop shallots and garlic. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallots and garlic for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring until golden and fragrant. Lower heat to low and add peas and give a stir. If using fresh peas, cover with a lid so they gently steam, 3 minutes or until tender and bright. If using frozen, just sauté until completely thawed and tender.

Blend Minted Pea Sauce: Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the pea-shallot mixture (leave the rest in the pan) and place in a blender along with water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mint leaves, salt, pepper, miso paste and hemp seeds (or use almond butter or tahini paste). Blend for a full minute until very creamy and smooth. Add a little more water if needed to get the blender going. Set aside.

To the skillet with the remaining pea-shallot mixture, add the pea shoots or spinach, and gently wilt, stirring for 30 to 60 seconds over low heat. (Either set these aside for garnish or feel free to combine with pasta.)  Add the drained pasta to the skillet and pour in the sauce from the blender and give a good stir. Rinse out the blender with a couple of tablespoons of water, adding this to the pan, gently warming the pasta up. Salt to taste, add lemon zest and more pepper to taste. If you want a looser sauce, feel free to stir in more water. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: 1 to 1 1/2 cups pasta
Calories: 241; Fat: 4.6g; Carbs: 40.9g; Fiber: 8g; Protein: 10.4g; Sodium: 132mg

Adapted from: Creamy Pea Pasta (Vegan) | Feasting At Home


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