Spaghettini with baby peas

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This simple recipe relies on a short list of ingredients, so superior quality -- especially top-notch Parmesan cheese -- is of the utmost importance. If you'd like, toss in strips of chicken breast or butterflied shrimp that have been sautéed in olive oil; or, if time permits, grill chicken breasts, cut them into diagonal strips, and arrange them atop the spaghettini mixture. For a quick weeknight dinner, simply drain a 6-ounce can of chunk white water-packed tuna, flake, and toss into the spaghettini.

 

12 ounces spaghettini

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chicken broth

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter

Garnish (optional): freshly ground pepper, freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the spaghettini. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the spaghettini. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente.

While the spaghettini is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, peas, salt, and pepper; stir gently until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

When the spaghettini is done, drain well; return to the pot. Add the chicken broth mixture; toss gently over medium heat until heated through. Add the Parmesan and butter; toss just until the butter is melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.