Spring Pasta with Radishes and Peas
Lemony and herby, dotted with sweet green peas, silky-pink (unspicy) sautéed radishes, and crunchy, butter-fried breadcrumbs, this pasta is springtime in a bowl. If you've got other fresh herbs -- mint or tarragon or even a few chopped celery leaves -- feel free to add them.
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
4 tablespoons butter, divided use
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (pulse a piece of baguette or sandwich bread in the blender)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 healthy bunch of radishes, washed, halved, and sliced into half moons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons of grated zest
8 ounces orecchiette (or other dried pasta shapes)
8 ounces frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Freshly grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper
- Begin by bringing a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil for the pasta, then sauté the breadcrumbs: melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small pan over medium heat, and fry the crumbs until golden and crisp, around 5 minutes. Set them aside.
- Put the pasta in to cook, and heat the olive oil and remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes, then add the radishes and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (or half as much table salt), and sauté until just tender, 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice (the radishes will turn bright pink).
- When the pasta is just tender, add the peas to the water, cook for another minute, and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and peas to the radish pan along with the lemon zest and parsley, and stir, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved water, until the pasta looks nice and saucy. Taste for lemon and salt, and serve topped with the breadcrumbs, lots of parmesan, and pepper.