We all need comfort food that comes together in a matter of minutes. I’m a full-time working mom with boys who love pasta! I repeat: They LOVE any noodle with anything on them. Some days, I need to make food I don’t have to think about.
I generally have prepped vinaigrette in my fridge that lasts 7-10 days, and I buy all the boxed baby greens on the planet: baby kale, baby spinach, baby romaine. Sprinkle a few toasted almonds and crumbles of feta and cherry tomatoes on top, and you’ve got a side dish fit for entertaining. Once I’ve got some greens squared away I can focus on a main dish that involves 10 minutes of cooking time.
I splurge and buy fresh ravioli or tortellini. This recipe works just fine using dry boxed pasta if it’s what you’ve got on hand. I love frozen peas. I try to buy them if they’ve got the words petite or young or spring. You want tender, fresh peas. (Here’s a link to my favorite brand [not sponsored -- they just taste incredible]). If you’ve got a little bacon or ham on hand, you can definitely brown that up in a little olive oil first. I’m big on using exactly what you have on hand. This meal comes together in literally 15 minutes, it’s kid-friendly, and and I happen to believe it special enough for guests as well! This recipe is a dead ringer for my stove top mac 'n' cheese, which can be found in my book Rustic Joyful Food: Generations. Do you have my books yet? Learn more about them and find links to purchase here!
1 16 oz. or 2 8 oz. containers of premade fresh pasta (can be found in the dairy, deli, or yogurt case section of your local grocery store, 9 times out of 10)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
2 cups frozen peas
Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Once you’ve drained the pasta, DO NOT rinse it. Pour the cream, salt, pepper, butter, Parmesan, and pasta water back into the hot pan and whisk until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes or so. Add the pasta to the pot and and gently fold to coat. Add the peas and cook for about 5 minutes. The cheese will have melted, and you will have a perfect sauce. Serve with more cheese, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you’d like. This pasta alongside the easy green salad is truly a 15-minute dinner you can be proud to serve your family.