Green pasta sauces have exploded over the past few years. Basically green vegetables and herbs blended into a smooth sauce that can pasta can be tossed through and emulsified with olive oil or cheese.
This pea, spinach and parsley version is fantastic, but you could use any other green vegetables you had. You could also add a bit of ham or fried pancetta if you felt like it. It's also great if you blend a bit of butter into the pea mixture.
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ a brown onion
- 2 cup frozen green peas
- 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
- ½ cup picked parsley leaves
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino, plus extra to serve
- 500g dried mafaldine (or other long pasta)
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, garlic and onion and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion is fragrant and translucent. Add the peas, spinach and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and add the parmesan. Blend to a smooth puree with the parsley leaves. Taste the puree and adjust for seasoning.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it for cooking the pasta. Cook the pasta according to packet directions but start checking it two minutes before the recommended cooking time has finished. When the pasta is al dente, drain it well (reserving about ¼ cup of the cooking water) and return it back to the pot on low heat (or a separate frying pan, if that is easier). Add the puree, reserved cooking water and drizzle in around ¼ cup of extra olive oil, tossing toss to coat. Serve the pasta with extra pecorino.