Patricia Wells thinks this sauce is too good for dried pasta. She may be right, but that’s what I’ve always put it on. This time I used Trader Joe’s lemon-pepper pappardelle, and it was amazing – but then again, it’s been just as amazing on Barilla linguine. Someday I’ll have to try it on some fresh pasta and see what I’ve been missing. Though it’s tough to believe this dish could be even better.
Pappardelle with Lemon Cream Sauce, Spinach, and Peas
Serves: 4 to 6 Time: 20 minutes
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch salt, if needed
1 pound dried pappardelle, linguine, or other pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Put a large pot of water on to boil, for cooking the pasta.
Zest the lemons (a Microplane is the best tool for this), then cut in half and juice them. Set juice and zest aside in separate bowls.
In a skillet large enough to hold the pasta later on, combine the butter, cream, and half the lemon juice. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Taste and add salt and/or more lemon juice if needed. Keep warm on extremely low heat, or just turn off the heat and cover the pan. (See? The sauce is done already!)
Warm the spinach in a covered bowl in the microwave for a minute or two, until wilted. Drain in a colander, then return to the bowl. Toss the frozen peas in with the spinach to thaw, and set aside. (If the peas don’t thaw completely, don’t worry – they’ll thaw in the hot pasta.)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. When it’s almost done, set aside a half-cup of the cooking water. Drain and add to the skillet with the sauce. Add the lemon zest, toss everything together until coated, and let rest over very low heat for a minute. (If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a tablespoon at a time of pasta water until it coats the pasta gracefully.)
Add the spinach and peas and toss again. Serve in warm bowls. Pass Parmesan at the table, if desired.
Follow Unfussy Epicure on Facebook!