Fresh sprigs of mint and tender green peas go well together. I sweeten the peas even more by steaming them, from their frozen state, in a bath of white wine. I also give this pasta dish another layer of flavor by adding a small can of cooked salmon.
A bag of frozen peas are easily found on sale in the frozen deli case, for barely a dollar a bag. I got some mint from my patio garden -- it's a hearty herb that will take over your garden if you don't keep it pruned back. While mint is the namesake herb for this dish, you could substitute any fresh or dried herb you have on hand.
- 1 small can (about 7 ounces) of salmon - Okay to use salmon in a pouch, or substitute with canned tuna.
- 2-3 cups frozen peas - canned peas would be too mushy, but in a pinch, you could drain and use them.
- Handful of mint leaves (a dozen or so leaves) - okay to substitute with a favorite fresh herb.
- 1/2 cup of white wine - or pasta water. Or, substitute with broth.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil - or any flavorful oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 package of pasta (8 ounces) - I used fusilla, but you can use any pasta you have on hand. Follow package directions.
- Water for pasta.
Start water for pasta and prepare pasta according to package direction. I usually shave off a minute or two from cooking time for pasta al dente.
Over a medium heat, add frozen peas to a large pan, or pot. Pour in a 1/2 cup of wine or pasta water. Bring liquid to a simmer, then lower heat. Cover and steam peas until tender, about 5 minutes. Be sure to try a pea to make sure it is tender enough. Add liquid as needed if it steams away.
Drain a small can of salmon and mix into peas. Some canned salmon comes with a center line of bones, but I've found that they are soft enough to eat, but you can remove any bones you find. Lightly flake salmon into medium sized chunks. Turn up the heat and warm salmon.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the salmon and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix in pasta, and heat through for a couple more minutes.
Finish by sprinkling in chopped (or small leaves) of mint. You can also top with Parmesan cheese. Serve this pasta dish hot, or at room temperature.
I originally made the pasta dish with 2 cups of peas, but I thought more peas would be better, so I upped the amount in my directions -- especially needed, if you go ahead and use the whole package of pasta. I also would add more olive oil, about a 1/4 cup total. I always think most recipes are too conservative with it, in these times of belt-tightening. And finally, you cannot have too much mint -- if you have it, then add a few more leaves!