Spaghetti with Zucchini, Peas, Radishes and Mint

People don't often cook radishes, but they are quite delicious cooked - a little more mellow than when they are raw - and add a pretty pop of color to any dish.

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Pastas dishes, like pizzas and omelets, are aways a blank slate for me. You really can add almost anything  to a pasta, so what ingredients you add really comes down to what is fresh, seasonal and available. When fresh peas are in season, it’s hard to resist adding them to  a pot of boiling pasta water for just a minute or so before the pasta has finished cooking. You could add a good amount of salt, pepper and olive oil and leave it at that, or you could add any number of other ingredients. This recipe adds zucchini, radishes, lemon and mint to compliment the peas, giving you a pretty and light vegetarian meal, perfect for spring. 

Ingredients for Spaghetti with Zucchini, Peas, Radishes and Mint on a wooden table.

You can slice the radishes into rounds or cut them into small wedges if you prefer, but if you manage to find baby zucchini, having both the radishes and zucchini in rounds makes for a very pretty dish.

Radishes and baby zucchini cooking in a skillet.

Only start cooking the vegetables when you drop the pasta into the salted boiling water. That leaves you plenty of time to get everything cooked before  you drain the pasta and peas and toss everything together. 

Spaghetti and Peas in a colander.

Do remember to save a little pasta water as you drain the spaghetti. This is a good habit to get into no matter what pasta dish you are making. As the pasta is added to ingredients (or sauces), it always continues to absorb liquid and can leave you with a dry plate of food. Adding a little starchy pasta water will help loosen things if needed. This pasta also gets moistened with a good drizzle of olive oil – use your best extra virgin olive oil for this purpose and add as much or as little as you’d like. 

Spaghetti with zucchini, peas, radishes and mint on a white plate on a wooden table with parmesan cheese on the side.

 

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Spaghetti with Zucchini, Peas, Radishes and Mint

  • Prep Time: 5 m
  • Cook Time: 10 m
  • Total Time: 15 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
  • 12 baby zucchini sliced ¼-inch thick (about 2 cups)
  • salt
  • 6 to 8 radishes thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 7 ounces fresh peas about 1½ cups
  • cup fresh chopped mint
  • grated Parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until just under al dente, according to package directions.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet or sauté pan and turn the skillet on to pre-heat over medium heat. Before the garlic starts to brown, add the zucchini slices and sauté until tender – about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the radishes and sauté for another minute.
  3. When you have one minute left on the pasta cooking time, add the peas to the pasta pot. Drain the pasta and peas together, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water.
  4. Add the pasta and peas to the skillet and toss with the zucchini and radishes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, the lemon zest and fresh mint. Toss together with a good glug of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
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