Spring is in the air- which means I’m ready for it to be on my plate, as well- and there are certain flavors and ingredients I love to incorporate into my dinners and desserts this time of year that I don’t usually use all that often during the colder Winter months. Lemon and mint are two of my favorites- and I’m always looking for new ways to add them to the mix.
I was recently gifted an instant pot- and have been whipping up delicious meals using some recipes that were featured in a little pamphlet that came with it- but a friend had forwarded me this pasta recipe to try, too. When I saw that it included lemon, mint, cheese and peas- I knew I had to give it a shot during one of the warmer, sunnier, “hint of Spring” days we’ve been having lately- and it was well worth it!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed and patted dry, divided
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
- ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound spaghetti or fine linguini, broken in half
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Add 1 cup of the peas to a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the peas into a coarse puree. Add the goat cheese, the ⅓ cup of oil, the lemon zest and juice, half the chopped mint, ½ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Mash well, then set aside. On the Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Pour in 5 cups water, then stir to combine. Add the pasta, placing the strands horizontally so they lay flat, then press them into the liquid until submerged
2. Select Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual, and make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 3 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the pressure by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
3. Using tongs, toss and stir the mixture to separate the strands of pasta, then add the goat cheese mixture and the remaining peas. Toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining mint and more cheese (if desired.)
This dish was so incredibly easy to make, full of flavor- and worth indulging in second helpings (or thirds! I also saved some to reheat for lunch a little later on this week!) The combinations of lemon, mint and cheese practically melted in my mouth and I’d love to try it with other types of pasta the next time I cook it- hopefully for company/guests who I know will enjoy it, as well!