Bathing in Butter: Pasta with Butter, Nutmeg and Parmesan AND Buttery, Oniony Peas

“When you get back to New York,” said my mother on the cruise, “We’re getting your cholesterol checked.”

“Ha!” I scoffed. “I am a gourmet! I don’t have cholesterol!”

I put that theory to the test tonight with the butteriest dinner ever. (Don’t you like the word “butteriest”?) What happened was I had a plan to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” but the plan didn’t include dinner. I had to throw something together fast and the only things I had handy were: 1/4 box of pasta, butter, Parmesan, nutmeg, frozen peas, and half a red onion. This would be a night of improvising.

So I started with the pasta. I cooked the pasta in rapidly boiling water, took it out just al dente, drained it and return it to the pot. Over low heat, I stirred in butter and grated some nutmeg over it. A little salt a little pepper and then some Parmesan. Into a bowl it went and I topped with more Parmesan. Behold!

May not look like much, but it was damn tasty. And buttery.

Somehow, though, just eating that would’ve left me feeling icky. I needed something green to round out the dinner. Hence the peas.

These peas have been in my freezer since the time I made “Pasta, Pesto and Peas” a while back. The wonderful thing about freezers is that freezers are wonderful things. And frozen peas when defrosted just enough taste really delicious. I can’t imagine fresh peas tasting MUCH better. (Cue the reactionaries!)

So I defrosted the peas and then heated butter in a skillet. I cut up this red onion I’d halved the other day. (Why did I halve it? I forget… Oh, was it my Greek salad? My that was a while back! Gross!)

I cooked the onion in the butter til it was tender and then added the peas. It looked like this:


Ok that picture’s kind of gross but check out the finished product:


That’s something you’d want to eat, isn’t it? The recipe I sort of copied it from (in the River Cafe cookbook) has you add prosciutto at the end and I can see how a pork product would add a smoky flavor. But if all you have is peas and butter and an onion, you can go a long way. As for my cholesterol, I’m sure I’m doing fine…I feel ok…nothing bad can ahso[aes[oyiash[o”yoahisy

8 thoughts on “Bathing in Butter: Pasta with Butter, Nutmeg and Parmesan AND Buttery, Oniony Peas”

  1. I think frozen peas might even be better than fresh, since they are frozen more or less on the field right when they are picked to preserve the vitamins. I think my dad spent part of his PhD on research projects with the sole purpose of finding the best/least intrusive/most flavour and structure-retaining way to freeze peas. A lot of “fresh” stuff is actually frozen and defrosted anyway, so I guess you can rest assured you have made the best peas possible.

  2. I’m sure frozen peas are good if you like peas … and onions. Sorry, in my household, those foods are verboten. But, I think I have some frozen brussels sprouts to go with my butter – yum!

  3. Looks and sounds good. But you needed to top it off with Nanaimo Bars. We call these Canadian goodies Cardiac Bars at my house because they’re three differently flavored layers of butter: coconut and graham cracker flavored butter topped with custard flavored butter covered with chocolate flavored butter. YUM! They’re a hearty race them Canucks!

    Was that The Contessa’s Pesto Peas? A great summer salad!

  4. Go, Loretta! That’s almost exactly the dish my mom used to make for me when I was little, right down to the twisty pasta. Only she put the peas in with the pasta, and there were no onions. Baby me would have thrown a fit before eating onions.

  5. Just found your blog while messing around in my new found world ‘o blogging. Really love it and can’t wait to read some more.

  6. Finally, the recipe I’ve been looking for since I had it in 1991 with a greek man who invited all the neighbors to his feast. And what a feast. It’s the nutmeg that makes this dish so very good.

    I made it with a meat sauce and it was just as delicious.

    Loved it!


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