Comforting yet light and summery, this is a classic family fave in our house and oh-so-simple to cook when you have 10 minutes to make dinner.
It’s one of those recipes where you’ve probably got most of the ingredients in without thinking. A tub of cream cheese is every cook’s friend. It can be spread on crackers, used to dunk carrot sticks into, transformed into a cheesecake, and in this case form the basis of a creamy pasta sauce.
And my best pal of all – frozen peas. Instantly available vegetable liberally peppered through a lot of the meals in this house to increase our chances of living the five-a-day dream. My boys also adore a pot of frozen peas as a snack – sounds odd but you would not believe how quiet Arlo is for at least 7 minutes while he slowly munches his way through them! Whatever it takes…
So yes, if you’re having a day where you just need to get dinner on the table NOW then give this a go.
Creamy pasta with peas and fresh mint (serves 4)
2 handfuls of frozen peas
200g tub cream cheese
Handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
The juice of a lemon (grate the zest and freeze for another day)
Grated Parmesan to serve
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook your pasta according to packet instructions.
Meanwhile in a bowl mix together the cream cheese, chopped mint and lemon juice with a wooden spoon, season to taste.
Add the frozen peas to the pasta for the final two minutes of cooking. Drain, retaining a little of the water with the pasta. Add your cheese mixture and stir thoroughly until it’s melted to form a creamy sauce. If it’s too stiff and claggy then add a splash of milk to let it down a bit.
Divide between pasta bowls, scatter liberally with grated Parmesan and serve with a fresh green salad.
I used the pasta I’d got as a freebie at Cybermummy 2011 from Garofalo – they’ve launched a cute kiddie’s range of novelty shaped organic durum wheat pasta. I got Moons and Stars but there’s also Little Toys, Flying Saucers and Car Engines to choose from.
Pasta is the one thing I don’t ever have trouble feeding the boys, so to be honest it could be any shape and they’d still wolf it down! The quality of Garofalo is excellent though.