Lemon Pasta with Peas & Parsley

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Has Spring finally sprung?! Is that the sun in the sky? Tulips in the garden? Peas in the market? Yes, peas are here for the spring season! Time is short, and the list is long for all of the things that I want to make with fresh peas. Because temps are inevitably still cool, my first pea creation usually involves some kind of pasta. When the warmer spring air arrives, I start throwing them into salads, or just popping them into my mouth like candy.  This pasta dish is fresh, light, easy to make, and tastes like spring. Unfortunately, what I didn’t have on hand was some smoky speck, but I would definitely top of this pasta with 3-4 slices and/or some grilled shrimp.  Enjoy!

Lemon Pasta with Peas and Parsley

16 oz dried pasta

1 ½ cups grated parmesan

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ cups fresh peas

¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped

½ cup lemon zest

1 tablespoon minced garlic

kosher salt 

freshly ground pepper

1.    In a large stock pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil.  Salt the water, add the pasta and stir.  Cook pasta 3 minutes less than the recommended time on the package.

2.    In a small bowl, toss together the parsley, lemon zest and garlic; set aside.

3.    Drain the pasta, being sure to reserve 3 cups of the cooking water.  

4.    Add drained pasta into a large sauté pan.  With the pan over medium high heat, add about 2 cups of the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, butter and peas; allow to cook for about 2 minutes.  

5.    Next stir in the parmesan and parsley mixture.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until all of the ingredients come together and a sauce is formed and starts to coat the pasta.  Add in more of the pasta water as necessary.  When you have a nice, loose but cohesive sauce, it is ready to serve.  

6.    Spoon into 4 individual bowls and top each with 3-4 slices of Speck.