9 ounces uncooked fresh linguine
1 cup shelled fresh green peas
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
2 ounces shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add peas to pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup pasta liquid.
2. Heat oil and butter in pan over medium heat 1 minute or until butter melts. Remove from heat; stir in pasta mixture, reserved pasta water, juice, salt, and pepper; toss well.
3. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon basil and about 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately.
David Bonom, Cooking Light, May 2010
I simply can’t get enough of these simple pasta dishes in spring. The heavier, slow-cooked pastas of winter can tend to conglomerate all of the individual flavors into a single other flavor altogether. This can be a wonderful thing when you’re incorporating your 20th jar or can of stewed tomatoes for the winter and you’re looking to spice it up, but as more and better quality spring produce becomes available, I want to take each and every component. This pasta does just that, highlighting rather than overpowering each flavor and the citrusy, floral combination of lemon and Parmesan is just perfect.
I still haven’t found any peas at the local markets and my own peas at home are only about 7 inches tall still, but for those of you in better climates, they should already be readily available. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the dish
- 3 portobello mushroom caps
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 4 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scrape out the gills of the portobellos with a spoon, then halve the mushrooms horizontally to make 6 thin rounds.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic; cook 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes and basil and cook until the garlic is soft, about 15 more minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the panko, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons cold water in another bowl. Put the flour in a third bowl.
4. Dredge the mushrooms in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in the eggs and then in the panko mixture, pressing to coat both sides. Heat 1/2 inch peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the mushrooms until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
5. Spread a layer of the tomato sauce in the prepared baking dish. Add the fried mushrooms, then cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Top with the mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan. Bake until browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.
Courtney Credle, Food Network Magazine, March 2011
Let me start by saying that the tomato sauce for this recipe with a little parmesan would be worth making in itself as a simple tomato sauce for nearly any dish. The parmesan tames the acidity of the tomato and adds a nice sweetness while thickening the sauce. Second, it is absolute genius to deep-fry portobellos and cover them in cheese. The panko-pamersan combination crisps up perfectly as it fries, allowing the portobellos to retain their shape and texture despite being covered in sauce and baked. I was pleasantly surprised to find none of the mushiness I had fearfully expected. This is a hearty vegetarian dish, both filling and packed with flavor. The only change I made was that I used less oil for the frying (about 1/8 inch) which I thought was plenty. I also nearly doubled the crushed red pepper for added spice and the basil for added flavor. This is a recipe that encourages play – you could use slight variations of the sauce or add an additional layer – but it’s also perfect just the way it is. Though not for those of you on a diet!