Spring has officially arrived, but the fruit and vegetables have to yet show they’re pretty little vernal faces. The warmer weather is shifting us away from heavy, hearty foods to lighter, quicker fare. We want to spend more time enjoying the spring sun and less time hovered over a huge pot of stew. But it looks like there are still some cool days ahead before we can truly shed the sweaters and warm, comforting meals. This pasta bridges that gap between craving light, springtime meals and still wanting something warm and satisfying. And it comes together in less than 30 minutes, so we can all enjoy more time in the fresh spring air!
A big bonus to this recipe is that there are only 5 main ingredients – broth, egg noodles, frozen peas, parmesan rinds and green onions — plus salt, pepper and an optional garnish of dried tarragon. I used a store-bought vegetarian “no-chicken” broth, but if you’d like to make your own, try this recipe from Oh My Veggies.
The broth is enhanced with a couple parmesan rinds and green onions. Do you save the rind from your parmesan cheese? You can! Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in a baggie in the freezer. I actually didn’t have any rinds on hand, but I found them in my grocery store in the artisan cheese area. I bought a small bundle of three rinds for just $2.60! The parmesan rinds add incredible flavor and a nice viscosity to the broth, so it becomes more of a saucy broth rather than a soupy broth.
This dish is so easy to make and comes together so quickly! The peas can be switched out with many different veggies; asparagus would be fantastic! Here we go: bring the broth to a boil, add the parmesan rinds and green onions, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook until heated through then remove and discard the rinds; season with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle (or other egg pasta), then either add the pasta to the broth mixture, or dish it up into bowls and ladle on the peas and broth. Sprinkle on some dried tarragon and dig in!
The silky pasta ribbons soak up the rich broth and the peas have that veggie POP! when you bite into them. Hello spring!
Pasta & Peas in Parmesan Broth
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetarian chicken broth or plain vegetable broth
2 three-inch rinds of parmesan or parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 green onions, white and light-green parts only
12-ounce bag frozen peas
salt and pepper
dried tarragon for garnish, optional
Bring vegetable broth to a boil, then reduce heat and add parmesan rinds and spring onions; simmer for 15 minutes. To the broth, add peas and cook until heated through, 3 – 5 minutes. Remove and discard rinds. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Transfer pasta to broth and serve with a sprinkle of dried tarragon. Enjoy!