Pappardelle with Peas and Parmesan
(Modified from Oprah's Magazine)
1 pound fresh pappardelle or fettuccine (I use whatever pasta I have on hand)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup coursely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt (I usually don't add any unless I think it needs it at the end)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups fresh or frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 Tbsp. butter
12 whole mint leaves (I have never used them)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Regganio (my favorite) cheese to taste
Whole cooked peas for garnish
1. Boil a large saucepot of salted water and cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a wide nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, sugar, salt, pepper and peas. If you are using fresh peas, cook 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are soft and tender, stirring occasionally. (If you are using frozen peas, add them when the onion is tender, and cook 2 minutes more, stirring.) Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree with broth or water and the remaining olive oil, occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender with a spatula.
3. When the pasta is done, drain it. Mix the pea puree and butter in a saucepot; add the pasta and stir until it's evenly coated. Add the mint leaves (if desired) and toss well. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggaino cheese and garnish with whole cooked peas. Makes 4 servings.