Gemelli Pasta with Shelled Peas, Lemon & Mint

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, this light and lovely pasta recipe sings of spring.

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh gemelli pasta
2 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 1 lb. in the pod)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together.

2. Dry out the pasta pot, and pour in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with black pepper, add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add ¾ cup Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth; then toss in the drained pasta & peas.

3. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen up the sauce. Garnish with remaining Parmesan, chopped parsley and mint and serve immediately.

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