- 300 g of frozen peas (petit pois)
- 200 ml water, boiling
- 1/3 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp mascarpone cream cheese (or a drizzle of double cream)
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zested
- Salt and pepper
Asparagus and pasta
- 100 g broad beans (podded or frozen)
- 400 g asparagus
- 320 g Messicani pasta (any pasta is fine, but these ‘little thimbles’ really cup the pea sauce)
- Flat leaf parsley, half pack, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Blitz the frozen peas, water and sugar in a blender set at a low speed. Slowly increase the speed to maximum, stirring occasionally. Leave to blend for 1 minute, then pass through a fine sieve. Season to taste. Pour into a small saucepan with the mascarpone (or cream) and lemon zest, ready to reheat and serve.
- Cook the broad beans in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and refresh in ice-cold water. Once cold, drain and pop off the outer pod from each bean set aside.
- Snap the woody bases off the asparagus and discard. Cut the stems into 4 cm lengths, reserving the tips. Cook in salted boiling water for 1-2 mins, depending on the thickness of the asparagus (put the tips in a little later as they cook quicker). Drain, refresh in ice-cold water, then add to the broad beans and lemon zest.
- Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, along with the cooking liquid, a splash of olive oil, half the broad bean and asparagus mix and half the chopped parsley.
- While the pasta is cooking, gently reheat the pea purée, taste again for seasoning and set aside in a warm place.
- When the pasta is ready, divide the pea purée between four plates, making a round bed in the centre of each. Pile the pasta in the centre of each, then finish with the rest of the asparagus and broad beans. Add a last grind of salt and pepper, scatter the rest of the parsley over the top, and grate over some parmesan cheese.
For fish/meat eaters, top with crispy pancetta (bake in the oven at 180 C for 15 minutes, between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper, and under a heavy tin to keep the pancetta flat) or a fillet of sea bass.
Consider using fresh mint instead of parsley.