I started cooking this pasta dish because of my love of frozen peas and my equally strong hatred of creating unnecessary dishes. 4 main ingredients, 1 pot, and it's done in as long as it takes to cook the pasta.
- For 2 or 3 people:
- 1 lb short pasta, such as mezzi rigatoni, rotini or farfalle
- 1 bag frozen baby peas
- zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (or any hard aged Italian cheese)
- olive oil
To make this for 1, simply use 1/2 a box of pasta, 1/2 the bag of peas, omit the lemon juice (or add just a squirt) and go easy on everything else.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a small handful of salt - it's very hard to over-salt pasta water.
- Meanwhile, roll the lemon between your hand and the counter to get the juice flowing, and zest it with a grater.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water.
- When it is about 6 minutes away from done, add the peas.
- When the pasta is done, drain it and the peas and return them to the pot.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of butter and a bit of olive oil, and the lemon zest.
- Stir vigorously to help the butter melt and coat the cheese.
- Add a good pinch of salt (you can add more to taste later) about 10 grinds of pepper, and grate in as much cheese as you like—at least a handful.
- Stir vigorously, so that the cheese distributes instead of clumping.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.