Creamy Lemon Pasta with English Peas, Mint & Garlic Breadcrumbs

Creamy Lemon Pasta

with English Peas, Mint & Garlic Breadcrumbs

20 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The classic combination of fresh peas and mint is an easy way to imbue dishes with springtime flavor. Here, we’re using the ingredients in an elegant pasta dinner, featuring ruffled campanelle (whose name means “little bells” in Italian), silky crème fraîche and bright lemon juice. A sprinkling of toasted, garlic-infused breadcrumbs adds savory crunch to this delightful seasonal meal.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Cook the pasta & peas:
2 Cook the pasta & peas:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Add the peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta and peas.

Make the garlic breadcrumbs:
3 Make the garlic breadcrumbs:

While the pasta cooks, in a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the whole garlic clove and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Transfer to a plate and discard the garlic clove. Wipe out the pan.

Cook & drain the spinach:
4 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the pasta continues to cook, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the aromatics:
5 Cook the aromatics:

In the pan used to cook the spinach, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the minced garlic and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Finish & plate your dish:
6 Finish & plate your dish:

To the pan, add the cooked pasta and peas, chopped spinach, lemon zest, crème fraîche, butter, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring vigorously, 2 to 3 minutes, or until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Divide between 2 dishes. Garnish with the garlic breadcrumbs, cheese, mint (finely chopping just before adding) and the remaining lemon wedges, if you’d like. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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2 Cook the pasta & peas:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Add the peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta and peas.

Cook the pasta & peas:
Make the garlic breadcrumbs:
3 Make the garlic breadcrumbs:

While the pasta cooks, in a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the whole garlic clove and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Transfer to a plate and discard the garlic clove. Wipe out the pan.

4 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the pasta continues to cook, in the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Cook & drain the spinach:
Cook the aromatics:
5 Cook the aromatics:

In the pan used to cook the spinach, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the minced garlic and shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

6 Finish & plate your dish:

To the pan, add the cooked pasta and peas, chopped spinach, lemon zest, crème fraîche, butter, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring vigorously, 2 to 3 minutes, or until well combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Divide between 2 dishes. Garnish with the garlic breadcrumbs, cheese, mint (finely chopping just before adding) and the remaining lemon wedges, if you’d like. Enjoy!