Butterfly Pasta With Baby Peas 4.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes May 27, 2009

You might say this is green cooking, as opposed to cooking green. Young peas, a little shallot, onion, butter and vegetable broth make a sweet sauce for farfalle.

If you want to cook greener, make a double batch of the sauce. Cool half of it and freeze it for up to 3 months. It could serve as the base for a dip (add sour cream or softened cream cheese) or as a pesto (puree with pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese).

Serve with warm foccacia.

Servings: 4
  • 10 ounces dried farfalle pasta
  • 4 medium shallots
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet (salted) butter
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 20 ounces fresh or frozen baby or petite peas
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 stems basil
  • 6 ounces sugar snap peas
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, mince the shallots to yield 1/2 cup. Cut the onion half into small dice to yield 3/4 cup.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and onion; cook for 6 minutes, until they are just soft. Add a little of the broth if needed to keep them from browning; they should stay a little creamy.

Prepare a bowl of ice cubes and water for the peas.

Add the broth (or what is left) and increase the heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then add 15 ounces of the frozen peas (about 3 cups) and boil for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to the ice-water bath to stop their cooking (and any shallot or onion you may catch). Pour the broth into a blender and let it cool for 10 minutes.

While the broth is cooling, coarsely chop the parsley and basil leaves. String and stem the snap peas.

Bring a small saucepan of (unsalted) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 5 ounces of peas (about 1 cup) and cook for 5 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl. When the water returns to a boil, add the sugar snaps to the water and cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to the bowl with the 5 ounces of just-blanched peas. As the sugar snaps cool, cut them on the diagonal into 2 or 3 pieces each.

Add the cooled 15 ounces of blanched peas to the cooled broth in the blender, along with half of the parsley and basil. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining parsley and basil, and puree until smooth.

Pour the puree into the same saute pan used to cook the shallots and onion, then add the cooked pasta and the remaining blanched peas and sugar snaps. Heat for 1 or 2 minutes over medium-low heat, tossing to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Divide among individual shallow bowls; serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Sizzle in Hell's Kitchen: Ethnic Recipes From Restaurants of New York City's Ninth Avenue Neighborhood," by Carliss Retif Pond (Gibbs Smith, 2009).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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