Quick dinner idea: Creamy pasta with peas and fresh mint

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)

300g pasta
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.

I’m entering this post into Presto Pasta Nights blogging event hosted by my lovely chum Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours – hope it fits the bill!

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families thatโ€™ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in One pot suppers, Pasta dishes, Speedy suppers, Storecupboard cooking, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Quick dinner idea: Creamy pasta with peas and fresh mint

  1. How perfect is that? I love it!
    Cream cheese rocks and I have only very recently started using the pasta water trick.

  2. Another liberal pea user here, I seem to put them in everything! Pasta is a firm favourite of mine and Miss P’s but RIch isn’t too keen, so it tends to be a lunchtime dish on our house. Looks yummy.

  3. Aveen says:

    I love the sound of this but my fussy husband detests peas ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can’t understand what’s not to like about them, and he’ll eat them in paella and egg fried rice but nothing else! Might make it for myself one night if I’ve got the house to myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Chris says:

    What do you mean by ‘cream cheese’? I never know whether it should be the Philadelphia type, or Cottage cheese type?

  5. Love the mint and peas combo.

  6. Just made this Mrs B – proper lush.

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