Macaroni Peas

Friday 25 November 2011

I got a new cookbook the other day. (shhhh . . . don't tell Todd. He thinks my library is having babies.) River Cottage Veg Every Day, by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. I'm a huge fan of HFW!

This is more than just a veggie book, filled with veggie recipes. Hugh’s approach to vegetables is from the green, sustainable and ethical food and fitness standpoint. I tend to agree with his attitude . . . we do tend to eat far too much meat and I've never heard of anyone being accused of eating far too much veg . . . in fact we are always being encouraged to eat more . . . five a day and all that!

I just love this book. I've toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian off and on through the years . . . it's only the thought of a good steak that makes me a bit wobbly with the idea . . . but I do try to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into our menues here at casa de rayner.

Vegetarian food used to be considered quite, quite boring, but not so any more, and this fantastic book makes that quite clear! It's beautifully illustrated and photographed and is chock full of delicious looking and sounding recipes . . . that are not out of the reach of the ordinary cook . . . nor are they boring in the least.

Take this beautiful Macaroni Peas recipe. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but I can tell you it's incredibly tasty as well! And . . . it was very quick and easy to make. Todd balked a tiny bit when he saw it . . . he is one of these men who always thought vegetarian food was quite yukky and well, we all know how much he loves pasta! Well, he ate a whole big bowl of it and went back for seconds. 'Nuff said.

If you really wanted to you could add some chopped ham or cooked bacon to the mix . . . it certainly would taste quite right here . . . but really, this is pretty darn good all on it's own.
(And this is coming from a gal who hated peas at one time!) Oh so scrummy, this is . . . oh so scrummy!

*Macaroni Peas*
Serves 4
(Adapted from River Cottage Veg Everyday)
Printable Recipe

This is fantastic. You can keep it veggie of course, but if you wanted a bit of meat some chopped boiled ham or crispy pancetta would not go amiss!

500g of frozen petit pois (4 cups)
500g of dry macaroni (2 cups)
50g of butter (scant 4 TBS)
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
25g of Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (1/2 cup) plus more for serving
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to serve

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions while you make the sauce.

Heat the butter in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes without colouring.

Put the peas in a separate pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until just tender. This should only take a couple of minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Put half of the peas into a blender along with 6 TBS of the cooking water, and the melted butter and garlic. Add the cheese. Blitz until you have a smooth and loose puree, adding a bit more of the pea cooking water if needed. Combine with the whole peas and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta as soon as it is ready and toss immediately with the hot pea sauce. Serve topped with a hearty grinding of black pepper, some more grated Parmesan and a garnish of chopped flat leaf parsley.

This book gets a hearty 10 out of 10 from me!! I have flagged almost every recipe! Well done Hugh! (I am really liking the shorter hair on Hugh too!)

I've got a Lemon Basil Mayonnaise going over in The Cottage today!


  1. Wow Marie, when you say your an early bird you mean it!
    I love HFW too although there's NO WAY I could be a vegetarian.
    I know...but I love meat! What can I say....End of story! xox

  2. That kind of pasta in Italy is called "Sedanini" (like a little celery) :)
    And Macaroni is Maccheroni :)

    I like peas a lot so I will try your recipe!

    Hugs from Italy

  3. Hello Marie,

    Thanks for sharing this, i think it will be a perfect vegie dish to give to my little 2 year old and one that she'll enjoy! You know how hard it is to feed green vegies to the little ones sometimes :-) Hope you have a great weekend!

    Take care,
    Sharon Olney
    Melbourne, Australia

  4. Hi Marie!

    I love HFW too! I have the DVDs of his "River Cottage" series. He is such a creative cook, just like you! I'll be trying this recipe this week...peas, yum!


  5. ooo, never saw this before, i love the name river cottage,

  6. I just had to laugh at 'my library is having babies'! Love it! :)

  7. Gorgeous! Am loving this series. And what I love most about this is that there are always peas in my freezer (also perfect for reducing swelling when you smash a big toe in a yoga class)

  8. Marie this look delicious I love it, my dear have a nice weekend and hugs to you and Todd:)Love yah!

  9. What a REALLY pretty plate of pasta Marie and one that I would love too! I will look out for that book!

  10. Such a great idea especially as uses mostly storecupboard stuff in a fab new way, love the green-ness of it!

  11. I made this yesterday and it was great! My whole family loved it. Thanks very much for the recipe.

    1. You’re welcome Naomi! So pleased you enjoyed! Xo

  12. We had this one today. I always have peas in the freezer and thought this looked and sounded really interesting. My hubby is not fond of Mac and Cheese as it's just too cheesy for him, but he loved this take on it. I added some chickpeas as well to make it a bit more of a balanced meal - salad on the side as well. Quick, easy and really tasty. My idea of fast food :)


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