Pasta with Peas + Lettuce

Pasta with Peas + Lettuce

Confession: I’m one of those odd people who loves leftover salad. Yes, salad from the night before, that has already been tossed in dressing, so it gets all wilty in the fridge. It’s like a more condensed version of its original self, and I’ve always wondered why we don’t wilt lettuce the same way we do spinach.

If you follow along on Instagram stories, you’ll know I had a bumper crop of lettuce this year. I’ve been plucking leafy greens straight from the garden all summer – which never gets old – but even in July and August, you can get too much salad. And now, finally, my immaculate and bountiful lettuce row is beginning to wane, and I’m scrambling to add it to things before it winds up in the compost bin. But look: it’s tasty tossed with warm pasta, which wilts it slightly, and it has a delicate, lettuce-y flavour compared to hardy spinach, chard or kale, that goes so well with butter and Parmesan.

Unfortunately I only snagged one photo of this, but hopefully it plants the seed that delicate leafy lettuce greens (iceberg and Romaine, not so much) can be successfully wilted into hot pasta – either straight from the garden, or if you have some that’s languishing in the fridge.

Pasta with Peas + Lettuce
Pasta with Peas + Lettuce

Pasta with Peas + Lettuce

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September 8, 2019

Ingredients

200 g (ish) dry pasta, such as linguine or spaghetti

1/2-1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 head leaf or butter lettuce

1/4 cup butter

juice of half a lemon

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the pasta; cook until al dente, adding the peas for the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Before you drain it, scoop out some of the starchy cooking water with a measuring cup. Slice half a head of lettuce into about 1/2-inch wide ribbons.

2Drain the pasta and peas and put it back in the pan. Add a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon, the sliced lettuce and lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Toss with tongs until the lettuce wilts, adding enough of the pasta water to make a saucy consistency. Serve with extra Parmesan at the table. Serves 2-4.

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