Sunny pea and broad bean pasta.

Another very lazy, but fresh and tasty pasta recipe. Pasta seems to be becoming a staple in my easter holiday diet and with all the loveliness of spring around, I thought I would make something light, fresh and green which is almost more salad than pasta, but still every bit as satisfying and healthier than usual.

This was another one of those happy recipes which you make up as you go along and turns out surprisingly impressive. The ingredients I used include pancetta, or bacon bits, however you can make it without them for a delicious vegetarian option. In fact, I would recommend this as it was as delicious without and a tad healthier.

Here is what I used, but it a fairly flexible recipe so feel free to add bits and bobs within reason.

Ingredients - to serve two

  • 3 large handfuls of frozen broad beans
  • 3 large handfuls of frozen petit pois garden peas
  • Half a packet of pancetta/bacon cubes
  • Half a packet of cream cheese
  • 100g of parmesan cheese, grated finely
  • 50ml of vegetable stock
  • Ground pepper, to season
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Half an onion, finely diced 
  • Enough pasta as you will eat, I normally allow three handfuls per person, which will leave some leftover. 
  • Half a tbsp of olive oil 
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tbsp of dried mint 
(yours may not look as liquid-y as this when you add the stock; I put in too much, but have altered the recipe to correct it!)
Method - 

  1. Heat your oil in a large shallow frying pan on a medium heat, and add the garlic when one 'test' piece begins to sizzle. Then, add your onion until it softens and is slightly translucent.
  2. At this point, if you are using bacon, you should add it to the pan and fry for at least five minutes until is goes crispy. 
  3. You can use fresh peas and beans for this recipe, however, if you are using frozen ones add them to a pan of boiling water and boil for about two mins, just to defrost them. 
  4. Add your pasta to a pan of salted boiling water at this point.
  5. Once the beans and peas are out of the water, add them to the pan with the vegetable stock and the cream cheese, alongside half your parmesan.  Lower the heat under the pan to a low heat. Stir the sauce until the cheese has melted and it has all combined.  
  6. Add the mint at this point, and pepper to taste. 
  7. Once your pasta has drained, add it to the pan and stir the sauce through it until it is evenly mixed. Add the rest of the parmesan, and if it's too dry add an extra tablespoon of cream cheese. 
  8. Mix through the fresh basil just before you serve, and viola. 
Lovely to enjoy on a warm sunny evening, for a large group, two of you or just yourself. Customise it as you will, adding fresh mint instead of basil would be a nice touch. Enjoy! 


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