Lemony Parmesan and Pea Pasta
5 Items I ALWAYS have in my kitchen:
Soooooo enter Lemony Parmesan and Pea Pasta!!! This is such an easy weeknight meal that ANYONE can make. If you are making this for the kids, you can leave out the garlic, or just add a little less. One of my sons loves garlic and the other one not so much. Such is life!
Tips for Lemony Parmesan and Pea Pasta
*Salt the water! Make sure that the water you cook the pasta in is nicely salted. This makes a huge difference.
* Defrost the peas if you have time. I feel like they taste better when they defrost a bit, but you can always use them straight out of the freezer if needed.
*Add red pepper flakes if you like heat! I leave it out when I make this for the kids, but I like to add it to mine!
*Don’t overcook the pasta! Make sure the pasta is al dente (meaning it has a bite to it, aka not mushy) by cooking it for less time than the package recommends. I also finish cooking my pasta in the sauce on the stove. This will give you ultimate flavor!!
*Cook the garlic until it is fragrant NOT until it browns. If it browns then it will taste bitter. It really only takes about 30 seconds to cook.
*SAVE THE PASTA WATER! This is a big deal! Save some of the pasta water before you drain the pasta and then use it later while the pasta is cooking with the other ingredients and this is what makes it turn into a sauce AND helps to loosen the pasta if it gets clumpy.
Lemony Parmesan and Pea Pasta
1 pound of pasta; you can use any kind of pasta you like for this
about 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 glove garlic, minced
2-4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes; optional
If you want to add some fresh herbs to this, I recommend basil and parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in a good handful of salt to flavor the water
Cook the pasta until al dente; usually this is a minute or so less than the package recommends
While the pasta is cooking, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and add the butter
Melt over medium heat and then add in the garlic; cook until the garlic is fragrant but NOT brown! This only takes about 30 second, be sure you are moving the garlic around with a spatula or something similar
Add in the peas, lemon zest and a squeeze of half of a lemon
Cook until the peas are coated, a couple minutes
Use a measuring cup to save some of the water the pasta is cooking in and then drain the pasta
Add the pasta into the large skillet and continue to cook over medium-high heat to cook the pasta in the sauce
Add the parmesan and more lemon juice onto the pasta and continue to cook a few minutes, tossing the pasta
Add some pasta water in this process to loosen the pasta and create a sauce; if you are using angel hair pasta, this will help you a lot!
Add more olive oil if needed as well
Add salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, red pepper flakes and cheese to taste! You can add as much or as little as you like.
Serve with fresh herbs if desired as well!
Once plated, I like to add a little more olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon juice
You can also add any meat or fish to this that you like!