I have a couple delicious weeknight pasta recipes to share.
The original recipe for this dish described it as “weeknight fancy”- loved it. The spicy brown-butter coated walnut topping was an essential element to earn this description.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I served the flavorful sauce over arugula-parmesan ravioli and incorporated garlic and asparagus. I also modified the method. Any variety of store-bought ravioli would work with this dish.
Yield: Serves 4
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 10 oz package frozen peas (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup (lightly packed) basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 4 T unsalted butter, divided
- 16–20 oz fresh or frozen ravioli (I used Trader Joe’s fresh Arugula & Parmesan Ravioli)
- 4 T (1/4 cup) coarsely chopped raw walnuts or pistachios
- 1 tsp Aleppo-style pepper
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, optional
- Place the frozen peas in a fine-mesh sieve and place in a large pot of boiling salted water; cook until peas are tender, about 4 minutes.
- Lift sieve from water to drain peas and basil and transfer to a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)(Alternatively, you can skip the sieve and use a spider or slotted spoon to fish out the peas and basil.)
- Reduce heat to medium-low and keep cooking liquid warm. (You will use it for the sauce, ravioli and the asparagus, if using.)
- Add the basil, garlic, grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons butter (cut into 4 pieces) and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to the blender with the peas.
- Blend, gradually increasing speed to high and adding up to 1/4 cup additional cooking liquid as needed, until you have a mostly smooth, fairly loose sauce; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (I didn’t add any additional liquid.)
- Return cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Add ravioli -and asparagus, if using. Cook, stirring gently to unstick, until tender, about 3 minutes or according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/2 cup of pasta liquid. Reserve pot.
- Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the chopped nuts and cook, stirring often, until butter begins to smell toasty and turn brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add Aleppo-style pepper, finely grate in lemon zest, and season lightly with salt; mix well.
- Slice lemon into wedges.
- Return cooked ravioli -and asparagus, if using- to pot, pour pea sauce over, and stir gently to coat. At this point, the consistency can be adjusted with reserved pasta water, if necessary. Using a large spoon, transfer ravioli to plates or a serving dish.
- Top with more Parmesan and basil, then spoon brown-butter nuts over the top. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over, as desired.