Smitten with Friends and Food: Night 1

It might seem odd that I chose this alfredo-based pasta for my first dish from my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Personal Challenge, seeing as that I can never recall a time that I have ordered an alfredo pasta at a restaurant. Pictures in a cookbook can completely change your mind and I think that is what happened in this case. It might have also had to do with the addition of peas in this recipe. I love peas and my boyfriend loathes them (some great story of a childhood trauma with this little, round vegetable) and I have been trying to reverse his hate for them for months! 

 He totally loved this dish and went back for seconds-- 100 points for me!

Sweet Peas and Shells Alfredo: by the Smitten Kitchen

What You Need
Salt to taste
1/2 pound dried small pasta shells
1 cup fresh shelled peas (oops mine came from a freezer bag so I had to cook them first)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

What You Do
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. 
2. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time.
3. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, and set aside.
4. Drain the pasta and the peas together.

5. Dry out the pasta pot and pour in the heavy cream.
6. Bring the cream to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. 
7. Add the butter and stir until it has melted.
8. Generously season the sauce with black pepper, and add a pinch of salt with the lemon zest.
9. Ad 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and stir until the sauce is smooth. 
10. Mix the pasta and peas back in and stir, cooking for another 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. 

*The reserved pasta sauce is to add if the sauce gets to thick. 

Tonight is taco night!

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