Thursday, July 17, 2008

Snap Pea & Yellow Zucchini Parpadelle with Saffron Thyme Cream

Hands down this is the best pasta I have ever dreamed up on the way home from work. Do you ever get into a funk where nothing you make seems to taste that good? I get that sometimes, other people may like it (or are they just saying that?) but this dish I absolutely loved! You must give it a try. Sometimes the best creations are a complete fluke. It's quite late and I should be in bed but I had to write this all down before I forgot what I did!
I wanted to use up some sugar snap peas and zucchini I had in the fridge. These ingredients are key to the dish so make sure you use the freshest produce you can...
Ingredients & Preparation:
Serves about 3 as a main course
For the cream sauce you will need -
  • 1 cup 18% cream
  • few pinches of saffron
  • about 6 springs of fresh thyme (pull the leaves off)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • a few shakes of white pepper
  • a pinch of sea salt (I used Salish Smoked Salt from the Pike Place Market)
  • a generous swirl of good quality, fruity olive oil

For the pasta -

  • 1 package of fresh lasagna sheets, cut into strips to make a "cheat's parpadelle" noodle
  • 2 handfuls of sugar snap peas, topped & tailed
  • 1 handful of watercress leaves (cut off the long stems as they are hard to swallow in pasta - I learned the hard way)
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, grate on a cheese grater to make little strips
  • 4-6 slices of halloumi cheese, 1/4 inch slices (this cheese is fairly salty so go easy on the salt in the cream sauce)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil in preparation for your pasta.

In a small pan, add the ingredients in the order listed above. Using a small whisk, gently stir the sauce to incorporate all the ingredients. Use a medium heat so it doesn't burn. Slowly whisk the sauce until it becomes a little thicker (the cream may become too thick if you beat it too much) and heat through. You don't want a runny consistency but you also don't want whip cream! Set aside when ready.

Add your pasta and bring to a boil. Fresh pasta shouldn't take too long to cook.

In another pan, add a smidgen of water, cover and steam your snap peas and watercress for only a few minutes until they are warmed through but still crunchy. You don't need to cook the zucchini.

In a small non-stick frying pan, add a touch of olive oil and place your cheese in for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Plate the pasta first in the centre and build the dish up from there. Add the snap peas and watercress. Then the zucchini on top. Place the cheese slices (about 2 per dish) on the side and give the plate a generous drizzle of the saffron thyme cream.

Enjoy this meal on a warm summer night with friends!


Laura P. said...

This looks amazing!

Joelen said...

This looks amazing! Your pics are gorgeous :)

-RM said...

I love the recipes...can you make a fritatta? hahahaha, do you even take requests?