A handful of fresh mint can turn a good recipe into an outstanding recipe and this bow tie pasta dish is no exception.
Here it is November in Northern Virginia and my outdoor mint is still going strong so I thought I’d share this great pasta recipe in case anyone out there has the same kind of luck with mint.
The Myth of Mint
I have a few variations of this story but it generally goes something like this: Mintha was a beautiful nymph who caught the roving eye of the god Pluto, whose jealous wife Proserpine turned her into a plant. To keep the peace, Pluto left her as a plant but gave her a lovely, unique scent. But I really think she got the short end of the stick.
Anyhow, mint has been a key ingredient in food in many cultures throughout history. It also was thought to have digestive properties and an ability to cure coughs and colds. While it’s never cured any cold of mine, I still like a little fresh mint in just about anything. As you can see by the photo below, I’ve used my handy mezzaluna to quickly chop up the mint. If you don’t have a mezzaluna, buy one (Amazon sells them) as it’s the quickest way to chop ingredients such as herbs, garlic and shallots.
You start this dish by slowly building a very simple sauce, beginning with cooking shallots in butter. Then one by one add your flavors: lemon, wine, broth, cream. If you have no white wine on hand, dry vermouth is a great substitute and that’s what I’ve used here. A bottle of vermouth can keep forever in the cupboard. Cook the pasta, toss it with the sauce and add the peas, Parmesan, zest and mint.
This recipe serves two but you can easily double it to serve more. Enjoy!
Bow Tie Pasta with Peas and Mint
Yield: Serves 2
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine for dry vermouth
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces bow tie pasta
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- Set 4 quarts of water to boil for the pasta
- In a saucepan cook the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter over moderate heat until softened.
- Add the lemon juice and wine or vermouth and boil until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons
- Stir in the broth and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup
- Add the cream and boil until the liquid is again reduced to about 3/4 cup
- Stir in the peas, the zest and the Parmesan and cook until the peas are heated through.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain well. Toss with 2 teaspoons butter
- Pour the pasta into the saucepan, add the mint and toss the pasta with the sauce
- Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese