Spaghetti with Peas, Spring Onions and Pea, Mint and Smetana Sauce

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Almost Vegetarian Cookbook

Almost Vegetarian Cookbook

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1999

  • About

A simple dish tasting of summer, this is perfect for a light lunch on a hot day. I find that the best fresh peas are those you know have only just been picked, as they become starchy within a day of picking. However, frozen petits pois work well for this recipe. You can use tagliatelle or other pasta instead of spaghetti.

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb) fresh peas or frozen petits pois
  • Generous handful of mint leaves
  • 300 ml (½ pint) creamed smetana
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 300g (10oz) spaghetti
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh mint leaves, to garnish

Method

Put the frozen petits pois into boiling salted water and boil for two minutes. If using fresh peas, boil for five minutes. Then drain the peas and put one-third of them into a food processor with the mint leaves, smetana and the olive oil. Whizz the mixture to a purée. Then put the mixture into a bowl and season to taste with salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the remaining peas and cover the bowl with foil. Put the sauce into a very low oven together with another bowl suitable for serving the pasta to keep warm while you are cooking the spaghetti.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. While it is coming to the boil, slice the spring onions across into 5 mm (¼-inch) pieces, using as much of the green part as possible. When the water is boiling, put in the spaghetti and boil it for 7–10 minutes (perhaps less if you are using fresh pasta) or until it is al dente - cooked, but still with a slight bite to it. Drain the spaghetti into a colander and rinse with running hot water. Then put the spaghetti into the warmed serving bowl. Stir the spring onions into the sauce, then mix the sauce roughly into the pasta.

To serve

Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve at once accompanied by a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or fine slivers of Parmesan shaved from a whole piece of cheese with a potato peeler.