Macaroni Peas (vegan option)

This is another Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (but stolen from a Nigella risotto recipe apparently!) and is a great healthy but comforting quick fix when the fridge is bare and all you have are freezer veg. Anything green can be blitzed in (I use green beans and spinach too) and the parmesan can either be swapped for a vegan parmesan alternative or nutritional yeast to taste.

Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

500g frozen peas or petits pois
300g macaroni (or penne or fusilli)
50g butter (or vegan block)
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
25g mature hard cheese, such as parmesan or a vegetarian alternative, grated (or vegan alternative or nutritional yeast to taste)
Chopped parsley, to serve (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Put the peas in a second pan, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, until tender.

When the peas are almost cooked, add the pasta to the large pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then add the garlic and let it simmer very gently for just a couple of minutes, without colouring, then turn off the heat.

Drain the peas, reserving their cooking water. Put about half the peas in a blender with six tablespoons of the cooking water, the butter and garlic mix, and the cheese. Blitz to a smooth, loose puree, adding a little more water to loosen, if you like. Combine with the whole peas and season to taste.

Drain the pasta and toss immediately with the hot pea sauce. Serve with ground black pepper and a little more grated cheese. Finish with chopped parsley, if you like.