Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Pasta with Brie and Basil

Spring Pasta with Brie and Basil
* Keeping the brie cold before adding it to the pasta will help keep it from all melting/sticking together when you add it to the hot pan. It's also much easier to cut into cubes when chilled.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 medium shallots, finely minced
2 medium zuchinni, finely diced
sea or kosher salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
red pepper flakes

1 box (13.25 oz) wheat pasta
10 oz frozen peas, ideally but not imperatively thawed
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 pound cold brie (straight from the fridge) cut into small cubes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, or pistachios to drive officially go overboard on the green theme
teaspoon olive oil
sea salt
red pepper flakes

Put a large pot of water over high heat. While you wait for it to boil, you can get on with your veggies. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and half tablespoon of butter to a large, rimmed nonstick skillet and bring over medium heat. Give the fat a few seconds to heat through, then add the shallots, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring once or twice, for two minutes. Add the zuchinni along with a teeny bit more salt and saute until soft and just beginning to brown - about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with a grating of fresh nutmeg, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, and keep on low or turn off while you boil your pasta.

Meanwhile, season your boiling pasta water with a handful of salt, let return to a boil, and then add in the pasta. Cook for 6 minutes, then add the frozen peas, cooking just until they turn a bright, poppy green - about 2 minutes. At this point your pasta should be al dente, so using a spider or slotted spoon, strain and transfer it and the peas to your awaiting veggies, placing over low heat if not already on it. Stir gently to incorporate everything, adding in a ladle of pasta water if desired. Stir in the basil, cubed brie, and pine nuts. Drizzle with an additional teaspoon olive oil and taste for salt/red pepper flakes adding extra if necessary. Serve warm.


Jenn said...

Sweet, now I actually have a reason to go out and buy some brie!!! Looks wonderful Alisa!

Andrea said...

So bright and green, this salad will chase away any left over winter time blues. I can't wait for my basil to start growing so I can make this :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Jenn - the brie is a nice change from other cheeses in pasta, especially if you make pasta as much as I do:)

Andrea - so jealous of your basil and garden! And yes the colors work wonders on erasing a drab winter:)