My lovely husband made this pasta dish for me one sun soaked spring day. The recipe was inspired by our favourite pasta restaurant in Altrincham, Sugo Pasta Kitchen, as they have just added a similar dish to their new menu and we fancied trying it out ourselves. It is the perfect pasta dish for spring, light and bright and really tasty.
500g pasta – a variety of your choice, but smaller varieties work best as opposed to spaghetti/linguine varieties
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp fresh mint
200g cooked ham hock
30g Parmesan plus extra to serve
1 large spring greens
100g frozen peas
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
- Cut the parsley and mint separately but both very fine and put them to one side.
- Separate out the cooked ham hock so there are no large chunks.
- Grate the Parmesan, with about 30g to one side and a handful extra for serving.
- Cut the spring greens into thin strips, remembering to remove the stalk.
- Boil the kettle with approx 250ml of water and combine with the vegetable stock in a jug.
- Cook the pasta to your liking but when draining reserve a cup of the pasta water. This can be done beforehand but ideally in parallel with making the sauce. If this makes you nervous, prep everything and start the pasta a good five minutes before the rest to give you some breathing space.
- Add the spring greens to a pan of boiling water and cook just under the recommended cooking time (2-3 minutes approx). Drain.
- At the same time, microwave the peas as per the instructions.
- Heat a large frying pan to a medium high heat. Add the drained spring greens and saute briefly for 1 minute.
- Add the ham hock, mint, Parmesan and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and a splash more olive oil and cook for another minute.
- Add about half of the drained pasta water to the rest of the sauce and mix together.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan (or vice versa if your frying pan is not big enough) and mix together. Add the peas, a splash more olive oil and pasta water to help the sauce combine and coat the pasta. Taste and season, but you will likely need only pepper if you salt your pasta water like the Italians 🙂
- Add the pasta to bowls, topping with the extra Parmesan, the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.