No apologies ... this is such a warm, spicy, gooey, creamy, rich pasta fix that it should probably be against the law. To boot, this batch is made with the freshest of garden peas that are like little sweet bullets of flavour. This is what we knoshed for dinner last evening... this and glasses of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. My goodness, it just doesn't get any better. But wait ... as I was cleaning up and pouring a second glass of wine, Silent Bob hollered, "Rainbow alert!"
Boy! This summer has had its share of rain showers. The rainbows are such a great payoff ... and green grass that isn't all parched-looking! Green! Like new peas and fresh mint ... if you've got peas and mint coming on, try the pasta. It was really tasty. I think it even qualifies as a Meatless Monday supper!
This is an easy dish to make ... the hardest thing is waiting for the pasta water to boil. The sauce goes together while the water comes to a boil. Then, it's simmered to cook the peas to tender-crisp, and the al dente pasta is finished in the sauce so that it soaks up the curry flavour. So rich and delicious!
Fettuccine and Peas in Curried Cream Sauce
½ lb fettuccine noodles or 8 nests of noodles
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ribbons
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. mild curry powder
four pinches cayenne pepper
fresh peas , enough for a generous serving for two
1½ c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. fresh mint, sliced into ribbons
Egg yolk and a dash of milk or water, beat in a small bowl
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Making the Dish:
1. Bring a deep pasta pot of salted water to a boil.
2. While the water comes to a boil, heat a deep fry pan and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter bubbles, add the onion ribbons and bring to a happy sauté. When the onions have wilted, lower the heat and let them begin to caramelize …
3. Measure out the cream and have it ready by the pan. Sprinkle the curry powder and cayenne onto the golden onions and stir until the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the flour and smear it to a roux. Cook for about a minute.
4. Add the cream and stir to make a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more cream. Turn the peas into the sauce and stir to coat them with the sauce. Lower the heat to simmer and cover the pan.
5. Add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook until just al dente.
6. While the pasta cooks, check the peas. When they are tender –crisp, turn the heat off under the sauce. Beat the egg and milk and add some of the hot sauce to the mix. Stir the egg mix into the sauce. Cover the pan and leave the sauce to ‘work the spices’ and gently cook the peas in the residual heat.
7. Drain the al dente pasta, reserving a bit of the hot pasta water. Turn the pasta into the peas and sauce and add the fresh mint ribbons. Toss to coat the pasta and distribute the peas and mint. Turn the heat on under the pan and bring the dish to a slow bubble, letting the pasta soak up the spices. If the sauce is too thick, pour in some of the reserved pasta water.
8. Correct the seasonings with the kosher salt and black pepper.
9. Turn into a heated pasta serving bowl, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.