What’s cooking today: Pappardelle with broccoli and peas
Pappardelle are the broad pasta strips, more substantial than the slimmer tagliatelle and a good choice for a pasta sauce that needs something to cling to. Don’t we all.
With many pasta recipes that call for this or that style of noodle, whether linguine, tagliatelle, pappardelle or, for that matter, small pieces such as farfalle or penne, it’s moot as to whether you should feel you have to strictly make the dish with only that specific type of noodle.
So of course you could substitute tagliatelle or penne rigate for the pappardelle, though I would steer clear of the slender pastas such as linguine or spaghetti; the peas in particular need a friend to canoodle with. Put it that way.
Key to this recipe is how to prepare the broccoli. My recipe calls only for the tiny buds; that is, the tiny parts of the floret. I’ll add a photograph below to show what I mean. You just hold each whole floret on a board and cut off the tiny buds, discarding the remnants of the stem. You only need the buds and peas to make up the substantial part of the sauce.
This is a creamy sauce thanks to the crème fraîche, but you will need to use pasta water in the sauce too, as without it the crème fraîche will make it rather claggy. I used as many as six ladles of pasta water to finish off the sauce and get it to the right consistency, but only add one at a time and stop adding any when the consistency of the sauce is to your liking.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
200 ml dry white wine
250 g pappardelle, boiled until al dente, and drained (but reserve the pasta water)
100 g broccoli florets, finely chopped
120 g frozen peas
50 g Grana Padano cheese, grated
Extra Grana Padano to grate on top when serving
250 g crème fraîche
Salt and white pepper to taste
Pasta water as needed
Bring a big pot of water to the boil, ready for the pasta.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, then add white wine and reduce by half. Add the peas and broccoli, season with salt and white pepper, stir, put the lid on and let it simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in the grated Grana Padano and the crème fraîche and simmer for a minute or two.
Cook the pasta till al dente and drain it into a bowl or jug so that you can use some of the pasta water in the sauce.
Add a ladle of pasta water to your sauce at a time, stirring to combine, until it is of a good consistency; not watery at all, but not claggy either.
Serve with extra grated Grana Padano cheese on top. DM/TGIFood
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