Spring Linguine With Spinach, Peas and Walnuts
Chef Peter McNee
Convivo Restaurant and Bar
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Chef Peter McNee gets a jump on spring with a pasta that incorporates sweet sugar snap peas and leafy green spinach. The recipe requires little cooking, as the hot pasta and a little of its cooking water wilts the spinach and softens the peas as they are tossed together. Toasted walnuts provide textural contrast.
About 5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
5 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced or crushed garlic
½ tsp. salt
Red pepper flakes
¾ lb. whole-grain linguine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shelled walnuts, toasted
½ lb. fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
- Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat; add 1 tablespoon salt.
- Tear spinach into large pieces and transfer to large bowl. Pour olive oil over spinach; sprinkle with garlic, salt and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. With tongs, mix well and set aside.
- Add linguine to boiling water. Cook linguine until al dente; drain in colander. Shake to drain, leaving some water clinging to pasta. Transfer hot pasta to spinach mixture in bowl, mixing with tongs to coat pasta with olive oil. (Spinach will wilt upon contact with hot pasta.)
- Immediately sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss well. Add walnuts and peas; mix gently to evenly distribute. Serve hot or at room temperature, passing extra grated Parmesan or red pepper flakes, if desired.
Photograph courtesy of California Walnuts