Philacatessen | Pasta with Mascarpone, Lemon and Green Peas (for the Eagles)


Philly is in a frenzied swoon of mad passion for the Eagles these days. Their inspiring journey to the Super Bowl despite numerous key injuries — Carson Wentz and Darren Sproles, to name but two — has unified the city. Everywhere we look we see Eagles green, and that includes my kitchen.

I continue to crank out dishes that showcase green ingredients — call it insanity or prudence, it matters not. This simple dish came to me from my college freshman daughter. Kelsey called and said she had gone to dinner at a friend’s house and they made this. She described the ingredients and thought it would be right up my alley. She was right.

If you don’t have mascarpone, cream cheese is a reasonable substitute; it lacks the velvet creaminess and touch of sweetness that mascarpone brings, but it will get the job done quite well. Kind of like Nick Foles stepping in for Carson Wentz.

One note: The lemon offers a tangy zing to the dish but if that is not to your liking it can easily be eliminated. Here’s the recipe.

Eagles Green Pea Pasta

Serves four

  • 1 pound pasta (any dry or fresh shape works; I like fresh fettuccine)
  • 1½ cups frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, softened (can substitute cream cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Plenty of fresh ground pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Cook the peas according to package directions; drain well.

In a large skillet on medium heat, melt the butter. Lower the heat and add the mascarpone, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest. When blended and smooth, add the peas.

While the sauce is cooking, boil water for the pasta and cook it until just al dente. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water.

Pour the drained pasta into the skillet with sauce and toss to coat, adding pasta water a little at a time to distribute the sauce. (You may not need the full ¾ cup—sauce should not be too thin.) Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Go Eagles!


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