Today’s recipe is a perfect pasta dinner for a hot summer evening. This is a dinner I make several times a year, particularly when I have an abundance of fresh mint and it’s too sweltering outside to turn on the oven. The only cooking required is to boil the pasta; the rest is just simple chopping, zesting and mixing. The ingredients are fresh and beautiful and mouthwatering.
The original recipe calls for fresh peas, but I make it all the time with frozen. Frozen peas are a staple in our house because they’re so easy to cook with; just throw them in a the last minute and they’ll thaw themselves in minutes. Fresh or frozen, I love the bright green color, refreshing taste and delightful crunch.
I got this recipe from my all-time favorite magazine, Domino, in which it was titled “Pasta with fresh peas.” But the name doesn’t seem to do the flavor justice. I usually refer to it with some combination of the ingredients, like “pasta with goat cheese and mint” or “pasta with peas and prosciutto”, but in truth, I think every single ingredient in this pasta just makes the dish, and it feels wrong to summarize. Right down to the salt and pepper, each ingredient is so critical to the perfection that none deserve to be left out. My favorite thing is to get a forkful that includes everything: salty prosciutto, fresh mint, crunchy peas, tart goat cheese, bright lemon with olive oil and pepper to finish it off.
It comes together quick, and makes for delicious leftovers the next day when served cold out of the fridge. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Perfect summer pasta
with goat cheese, mint, prosciutto, peas, lemon and pepper
Recipe courtesy of the late Domino Magazine
Boil a pot of pasta on the stove (any short cut will do). Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the ingredients below. Include quantities that suit your taste; I’ve included a suggestion in parentheses next to each one, assuming you’re making a pound of pasta; however feel free to add more or less of each ingredient if it makes you happy (however, I cannot in good conscience recommend leaving out an ingredient completely!).
- Sliced prociutto (one 3oz package)
- Torn mint leaves (12-15)
- Peas, fresh or frozen (1/2c)
- Crumbled goat cheese (8oz)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Course salt to taste
- Lots of fresh cracked pepper
When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it, drizzle with olive oil and stir in the other ingredients.