Macaroni Peas – One New Recipe A Week

So, spurred on by Saturday’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi i decided to make something from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday which i’d wanted to make since getting the book at the end of last year – Macaroni Peas!

Everyone loves Macaroni Cheese obviously and my OH is the master of it in our house but i really fancied this as it looked quick, had a load of veg in it and thought TheYoungLady would like it (macaroni, peas and bit of cheese – what’s not to like?)

For info – i amended the amounts Hugh suggests for the pasta and peas (as it’s feeding two adults and a 3 year old rather than 4 people) and the amount i ended up with still left enough for us all to have a second serving-spoonful. My amounts and any comments are in italics.

500g Peas (fresh or frozen) or petit pois (i used 300g of frozen peas)
300g small macaroni or smallish pasta shapes such as orecchiette or fusilli, or even risoni (i used 200g of macaroni)
50g butter (i used ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter‘)
1 garlic clove, chopped ( i used one big clove plus a tiny half-clove)
25g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese coarsely grated plis extra to serve (i just used mature cheddar)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (just used normal table salt *note to self to get some decent sea-salt though!*)
Shredded basil or flat-leaf parsley to serve (optional)

Put a large pan of salted water on to boil, so that you’re ready to cook the pasta while the sauce is coming together.
Put the peas in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender – just a couple of minutes for frozen or very tender fresh peas, longer for older fresh peas.
When the peas are almost cooked, add the pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat and add the garlic. Let is cook gently for just a couple of minutes, without colouring, then remove from the heat.
Drain the peas, reserving the cooking water. Put about half of them in a blender with 6 tablespoons of the cooking water, the butter and garlic and the grated cheese. (I just used a hand blender here in a pan) Blitz to a smooth, loose puree, adding a little more water if needed. Combine with the whole peas and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta as soon as it is ready and toss immediately with the hot pea sauce. Serve topped with plenty of ground black pepper and more grated Parmesan. Shredded basil of chopped flat-leaf parsley is a goo, but by no means essential, finishing touch. (i had neither!)

This was SUCH a tasty dish and another success all round. The garlic really makes the dish, as does blending half of it. I added a couple more tablespoons of the cooking water, as Hugh suggests, but this is definately going to be a regular tea in our house. Quick too, with really only taking the time it takes to bring a couple of pans of water to the boil and to cook the macaroni.




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