- Salt to taste
- ½ pound (225 grams) dried small pasta shells, regular, whole wheat, or, if you’re a poor planner, a mix
- 1 cup (455 grams) fresh shelled peas (from about 1 pound in the pod)
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup (115 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
The sweet, crunchy peas offset the richness perfectly, the heartier pasta is an excellent stage for all the sauce, and quite often, pasta dishes are improved with age.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, and set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together.
- Dry out the pasta pot, and pour in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, and cook it until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with freshly ground black pepper; add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add ¾ cup of the Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth; then toss in the drained pasta and peas. Cook the pasta in sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen the sauce.
- Divide the pasta among bowls. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and the flat-leaf parsley.