Bright and Beautiful: Pasta and Green Things

Sorry I’ve been away for a while.  I am back now with a recipe that is so easy it’s probably a bit cheeky to call it an actual recipe!  But here we are.

So this is what we had for dinner tonight.  We’d had a bit of a hefty weekend.  Friday evening began with cider and ended up with one of us (me) falling off a night bus at 4am.  Because we might be married but that DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE OLD.  So yeah.  We didn’t surface much before midday on Saturday.  And then we ate a lot of cheese, because that’s what you do when you have a hangover.

So here we are.  Sunday evening.  Livers just about forgiving us. Desperate veg and vitamins and something comforting.  And easy.  Please God, make it easy.

So ladies and gentleman, I give you Bright and Beautiful: Pasta and Green Things.

This is essentially pasta with a garlicky creamy sauce and whatever Green Things you have to hand.  I used broccoli, peas, courgette and spinach.  But you could use beans or kale (hippy) or asparagus (which I’ve just remembered my little sister, Rachel used to call ‘namaragus’ and I love her for that…).  Enjoy.

green green green.jpg

Serves 2


  • 160g pasta
  • 200g tub of creme fraiche (I actually use Elmlea creme fraiche because it lasts ages an has fewer calories.  You can judge me for that if you want. But then you’d be a horrible person.)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped to smithereens
  • A knob of butter or a slosh of olive oil
  • 1/2 courgette, thinly sliced
  • 3 handfuls frozen peas
  • 4 handfuls spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Optional grating of parmesan on top.


  • Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over a low heat.  Add your garlic cloves and courgette. Coat them in the oil or melted butter, throw in a pinch of salt.  They will need about 10 minutes to get lovely and soft and garlicky.
  • Boil the water for your pasta then put in a big pan.  Salt your water.  Salting pasta water is non-negotiable.  When boiling add your pasta.
  • Add the peas to the garlic and courgettes.
  • Steam your broccoli.  I do it in the microwave – a tbsp water in the bottom of a measuring jug.  Broccoli on top.  Cover with cling film with a hole in it.  Full power 3 mins. Drain them and leave them to one side when done.
  • Once your peas are soft (should take two minutes or so – test one) add your tub of creme fraiche.  Keep the heat nice and low or the creme fraiche might split and then you’ll be terribly sad.
  • Taste your pasta.  If it’s done, use a mug or ladle to reserve about 2 tbsps of the cooking water. Then drain the pasta.
  • Return the pasta to the pan and add your spinach and broccoli. Heat gently.  After about 30 seconds the spinach should be wilted a little.
  • Add the creme fraiche/courgette/garlic/pea sauce to the pasta/broccoli/spinach.  Give it a good mix.  Use some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce a bit and help it to stick to the pasta.  Add it a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Add the juice of half a lemon.  Season with plenty of black pepper.
  • Whack into a couple of serving bowls and eat, feeling comforted by the pasta and virtuous about the green things.
  • I imagine this would be lovely with some white wine, but my liver says no.  Can’t imagine why…

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