I love pasta. Absolutely, positively love it. It’s incredibly versatile with thousands of sauces, vegetables, proteins, spices and herbs available to combine with it, not to mention all the forms pasta comes in – fun shapes, flavors, even whole grain is becoming easy to find. But the thing I think I love most about pasta is how simple it is to put together a flavor-packed meal in less than 15 minutes.
Take this dish, herby pea pasta. It came together in a snap. I minced a shallot, sweated it in a bit of olive oil, added semi-thawed shrimp, then a little white wine, frozen peas straight from the freezer, the cooked pasta, chopped fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Half the products were either shelf-stable or frozen, and the herbs (in this case chives, tarragon and basil), were leftovers.
The whole dish was completed in the amount of time it took to boil water and cook the pasta. Because there wasn’t a lot of prep work, I was able to chop and cook the other ingredients while the pasta boiled.
Here’s the recipe for today’s dish, but note that you can use pretty much any type of herb you have available.
Herby Pea Pasta – serves 2
4 ounces whole grain spaghetti
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, tarragon, etc.)
Fill a large pot with water and toss in a teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil and add the pasta. Cook following package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, pour the olive oil in a large saute pan and set it over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for 1 minute, then add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes on each side until pink. Pour in the wine and peas; decrease the heat to low.
When the pasta is cooked, lightly drain it (I like to use a fork to gently trasfer the pasta to the saute pan) and mix with the other ingredients. Stir in the herbs and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.