When I was in London in August, I became obsessed with their peas. Oh, English peas really are all that. From pea risotto, to soup, to pasta dishes, even a fritatta. I ate a lot of green food on that trip.
So when I returned to boring, old America, I wanted to fill the pea-less void in my life. I also wanted to refine my cooking skills and ability to “whip something up.” And by “something,” I mean “gourmet-like dish.”
I came up with this dish in the pasta aisle of Target. I saw a box of pasta and said “Hey! Peas!” or something along those lines. A box of pasta and a bag of spinach later, I was headed home to cook!
(Just kidding, this is Target we’re talking about. I spent $200 on things I don’t need)
I got home and whipped out my favorite pot. I decided to challenge myself into a one-pot meal, because what’s more impressive than a delicious dish that also doesn’t use a ton of pots and pans?
My Le Creuset collection is all a beautiful shade of ivory, making this whole cooking session seem extra glamorous. I was using a 1 1/4 quart pot, because I was making a single-serve lunch dish. This recipe is totally customizable and flexible – double it for a dinner dish, double that for more people. This is the perfect end-of-summer dish, where you want something filling and warm but not thick and heavy. Everyone you serve this to will be impressed!
Ingredients (per person, lunch portion):
1/2 cup dry whole wheat rotini or radiatore pasta (or anything small and curly)
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup frozen peas
Handful of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
- In your beautiful Le Creuset saucepan, simmer the onions until they are clear, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add water (about 2 cups) to your saucepot and bring to a boil. Cook according to pasta directions.
- When pasta is cooked, carefully drain the water into the sink. No need for a strainer! Drain as much water as you can, but any leftover stock water will only help make the sauce delicious.
- Return heat to medium and add the onion back in with the hot pasta and leftover stock water. Add lemon juice and let simmer, 2-3 minutes. Add olive oil to gentle coat the pasta, around 1-2 tablespoons. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the frozen peas to the dish and stir. Allow them to defrost for a few minutes. Bring the pot to a very low simmer.
- Toss the fresh spinach on top and stir into the noodles. Within moments, the spinach will wilt. Be very careful at this point! No one wants mushy spinach.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese on the dish while in the pot. Transfer from pot to serving bowl. Top with more cheese.
You’ll end up with a colorful, vibrant dish that tastes almost as good as it looks! Below, you’ll find a printable and/or iPad-friendly recipe to keep for yourself!