In this fresh spring recipe, orecchiette (pasta shaped like 'little ears') dances cheek-to-cheek with peas, lemon and mint in a creamy sauce. I created this dish on a whim with a few simple ingredients I had in the fridge and garden. Now it's a signature favourite!
200gm of orecchiette pasta
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
200gm of frozen peas
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped (and some leaves to garnish)
100ml of sour cream
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
Cook the orecchiette in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
Meanwhile, add the frozen peas to the boiling pasta water and let them boil for 2 minutes until they’re bright green and float to the surface. Remove the peas from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside. Before draining the orecchiette, make sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for later.
Heat the olive oil and onion in a large saucepan on medium heat, until fragrant. Add the boiled peas and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and gently mash the peas—you don’t need to mash all of them, we're just squeezing out the flavour and juices for the sauce.
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and mint and stir for 30 seconds. Add the cooked drained orecchiette and sour cream. Stir well until pasta is evenly coated and cook for another 3 minutes.
If the mixture is looking a bit dry, mix in a bit of the reserved pasta water (usually 1/2 a a cup will do). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Get a little fancy and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Enjoy!