Because Will works much later than I do (and has an extra long commute to boot), we usually have dinner around 7:30 or 8. And by that time I’m usually starving and I’ve passed the point of no-return with my hunger. You know, the point where you’re too hungry to cook so you end up like, eating cheese directly out of the fridge or ordering a pizza out of desperation? The key that I’ve found to surviving this is to make dinner as much ahead of time as possible (that, and snacking excessively when I get home from work). Casseroles are good for this, but I also like the kind of meals where you can do all the prep work ahead of time. This pasta is a perfect example of that: you do all the chopping and measuring and grating ahead of time and then the dish comes together in the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta. Delicious!
I added some spinach to Tracy’s recipe, partially out of a desire to eat more vegetables and partially because I had some spinach slowly wilting in the fridge and I felt quite sorry for it. I also subbed the mint for basil because it happened to be what I had in my tiny herb garden.
Shutterbean’s Sweet Peas and Shells Alfredo (original recipe)
- 2.5 cups dried shell pasta
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1.5 cups baby spinach
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup chiffonaded basil
- fresh pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, adding the peas within the last two minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, gather the other ingredients. Once the pasta is drained, add the butter and cream to the pot and cook over a low heat until slightly thickened. Add parmesan, lemon zest, basil and pepper. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick, add the drained pasta and peas. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Serve with more fresh ground pepper and parmesan.