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I have convinced myself that this spring pasta with peas and fresh herbs recipe is the only thing I need right now. Since I posted this recipe on Instagram on May 5th, I’ve made some iteration of this pasta 3 times as I’ve worked on this recipe. Usually it takes me about a month to refine a new from scratch recipe, so that is saying something! This pasta recipe is just perfect for this time of year. I love love love how these herbs–lots of fresh mint, dill, and basil!–taste together and how the lemon vinaigrette unites these flavors and pair so well with the sweet peas. Goat cheese (or feta) mixed in with the warm pasta really puts it over the edge. Especially when the cheese, if using goat cheese, gets a little melty and transforms into an almost cream sauce. It’s an almost cream sauce, but not quite because it doesn’t weigh you down after you eat this. I prefer using goat cheese for this reason, but feta is also an amazing choice, especially if you’re wanting more of a pasta salad type dish.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been using frozen sweet peas, but they’re just so easy. Also, we take Dobby to his dog training class on Saturday mornings so I’ve missed all the local farmers markets. He only has two classes left though, so soon enough I’ll be perusing the markets in search of fresh, local produce. Admittedly, dog training is a highlight of my weekend. It’s so fun to see him become more confident. He has certainly grown a lot since we first got him when he would bark like crazy whenever we would walk by another dog! He is still learning, but I love seeing him think and work towards being proactive rather than reactive. However, if you want to use fresh peas, by all means go for it! I think you would just need to cook them for a hot minute.
Neal and I have been riding our bikes around Bentonville lately, exploring the Razorback Greenway, Compton Garden, and Crystal Bridges trails and this spring pasta with peas and fresh herbs is literally so easy to put together, I actually have the energy to cook it after riding 12 miles (!! — I’m very proud of us for exploring on our bikes!) It is great to throw together on a busy weeknight. If you are super incredibly busy and want to save washing a saucepan, you could throw the peas (if using frozen) into the boiling pasta when it has about 1.5 minutes left to go. I haven’t tried this, but I imagine it would work well. The only draw back is that you would have warm peas and I really prefer cold peas in this dish. To make this an easy meal, serve with lemony grilled chicken or a side salad. Or, do as we do and use Banza chickpea pasta which is not only gluten free, but it also has so much more protein than regular pasta that I’m not worried about making sure we’re getting enough protein. I have a serious love affair going on with Banza pasta and as I just used up my last bag, it’s time for me to get my butt to Costco to stock up!
Also, pasta was super hard to style! I kinda rushed through the photos because it was after the 12 mile bike ride and I was huuuuungry! So please don’t let the photos detract you from making this, because it is truly delicious. Trust me on this one, okay?
Comment below if you’ve tried this recipe so others know how fantastic this recipe is! Also, you’re comments help me as I learn more about this blogging thing!
Without further adieu, let me introduce you to this spring pasta with peas and fresh herbs that you’ll be cooking all summer long…
Spring Pasta with Peas and Fresh Herbs
- 8 oz pasta I love Banza chickpea rotini pasta for this dish
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas Can use fresh instead!
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 1 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup goat cheese or feta cheese crumbled*
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cooking to al dente, according to package directions. For Banza rotini pasta, I cook it for 6 minutes.** Once pasta is done cooking, drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil. Add the frozen peas, and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately drain and dump the peas in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. We still want them to taste like fresh peas and not boiled mush!
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, add the lemon juice and dijon mustard. Whisk to combine, then slowly add in the extra virgin olive oil to create a vinaigrette. Add the shallot, fresh basil, fresh dill, and fresh mint. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper (I use about 1/4 tsp. salt and a few twists of pepper).
- Add the drained pasta, drained peas, and cheese to the large bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss well until the vinaigrette and cheese are fully incorporated and coat the pasta.
*I prefer goat cheese for this recipe as it melts when tossed with the warm pasta and becomes creamy and delicious. Feta is also delicious and provides great flavor! It just doesn't have the creamy texture to it.
**For a short cut, add the peas to the pasta during the last minute or two of cooking time. I don't prefer this as the peas will be warm, but it will be just as tasty!