Lemon pasta with baby peas is a perfect mid-week meal! It’s bright fresh flavor comes from a delightfully creamy pasta sauce. Crispy salami adds a beautiful, unexpected touch to this easy pasta recipe. Make this dish in 30 minutes!
- 16 ounces wide egg noodles
- 1–2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1/3 pound thinly-sliced Italian dry salami
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1 cup frozen baby peas
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream (not Half & Half)
- Juice and zest from 2 lemons
- Sea salt, to taste
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (plus extra for garnishing)
- Optional garnish: Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, fry the salami in olive oil over medium heat until crispy. Transfer crispy salami to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add garlic and peas to the frying pan. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Add a drizzling of olive oil to the pot of boiling water. Add the pasta. Cook al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta well. Add drained pasta back to the pot.
- Make lemon cream sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy cream, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until it comes to a boil. Pour the lemon cream sauce and half the lemon juice over the pasta. Mix to combine. Place the pot of noodles over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has been fully absorbed by the noodles. Remove from heat. Taste the pasta. If desired, add more lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper.
- Fold peas and Parmesan cheese into the noodles. If desired, fold in two tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley. If the pasta needs moisture, drizzle some reserved salted water over the noodles and mix it in, or add a light drizzling of olive oil. Arrange slices of crispy salami on top of the noodles, or crumble the salami and sprinkle it over the surface. Garnish lemon pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, another few twists of freshly-ground pepper, and sprigs of Italian parsley.
CAN I SUBSTITUTE HALF & HALF FOR HEAVY CREAM?
When making this white sauce for pasta, or any recipe for creamy pasta sauce, do not substitute half & half or milk for heavy cream! The less fat that’s in your cream, the higher chance your sauce will not work out. It’s likely it will just be a runny mess. Commit to whole-fat heavy cream. Your sauce will be rich and glorious, and taste so good!
HOW TO COOK PASTA PERFECTLY?
- To cook the perfect pot of pasta, select a pot that holds at least 6 quarts. As pasta boils it expands and releases starch. So it’s important to boil pasta in a large enough pot to give the pasta room to shift around while the water is bubbling.
- For a pound of pasta, fill the pot 3/4 of the way up with water. Heavily salt the water. Taste it. The water should taste like the ocean! When there’s enough water the starch can be properly diluted and not make your pasta gummy. Bring the pot of water to a roiling boil over medium/high heat.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Add the pasta to the pot and immediately give it a swirl with a wooden spoon to separate the noodles. Cover the pot with a lid for 30-60 seconds, or until you hear the water return to a boil. Remove the lid.
- Stir the pasta again at the 2-minute mark. Refer to package directions for cooking time. Immediately transfer pasta to a colander in your kitchen sink. It’s important to drain the pasta well; any excess water on the noodles can literally ruin your pasta sauce!
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Lemon Pasta, Lemon Cream Sauce, Creamy Pasta Sauce