Okay, so this is springtime pasta take 2. I think like the day after I posted my last ode to spring, it was 60 degrees. Then another day 50. Drat. But I guess the Farhenheit market has corrected itself and it’s back to regular and moderate temperatures. Good enough I suppose. This dish is pretty similar to the last one, in that it has peas and is cheesy, but there’s this delightful extra addition to it – a puree of garlic and almonds. I added broccoli to this dish, which was a departure from the original recipe. You could easily make just a broccoli side dish with the sauce, if you wanted to nix the pasta and have with chicken or something.
As always, I think you should customize recipes with what you may have lying around the house or what’s on sale at the grocery store. I used slivered almonds for this sauce, but you could obviously use full blanched almonds if you have them – just increase the volume a bit, since slivered are more densely packed. I also think roasted almonds would make a good sauce too. They’re definitely more flavorful so you could get away with less of them, or less cheese to counterbalance. Let me know if you try it!
Pasta with Almond Garlic Sauce
adapted from Gourmet
1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium heads of broccoli, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup grated romano cheese (or less if you’re using the store-bought, finely grated kind)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
chopped roasted almond (optional)
chopped tomatoes (optional)
1. In a food processor, puree the almonds, garlic, salt, wine, and water. Put aside.
2. Bring to a boil a pot of salted water and add pasta.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large saute pan. Add broccoli and saute until bright green, but not totally tender.
4. When pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add the reserved water to the saute pan with the broccoli, along with the last 1/4 wine and the almond puree. Mix sauce around with the broccoli until it begins to thicken up, about 3 minutes. Add some coarse pepper while this is cooking.
5. Add the pasta and the peas to the saute pan and mix around till all coated. Continue cooking if the broccoli is still not totally done. Add cheese and lemon juice and stir to mix. Turn off the heat and add the herbs. Serve with additional chopped herbs, cheese, almonds, and/or tomatoes if desired.