We all know Golden Milk (aka Turmeric Milk) and maybe even golden turmeric energy bites. But have you tried Golden Pasta yet? If not, you're in for a treat. I take a favorite flavor combo you've seen a lot on the blog -- lemon and turmeric -- and turn it into a creamy, protein-rich, mac & cheese style pasta that can be dairy free and vegan if you need, by swapping Parmesan for nutritional yeast.
I posted a picture of this Golden Pasta on Instagram a few weeks ago and people wrote in asking for the recipe. So here it finally is, my new favorite pasta dish! And today I'm spilling the beans ;-) and telling you my secrets for making it oh so good.
First, there's lots of textural contrast between the chewy pasta, pop of peas and edamame and crunchy pistachios. Turmeric, lemon, and Parmesan (or nutritional yeast to make it 100% plant-based) round out the flavors. Adding reserved pasta water at the end along with olive oil turns it into a golden creamy sauce reminiscent of mac & cheese. Finally, pairing a chickpea pasta with peas and edamame makes this the satisfying pasta dish we all love without the post-meal blood sugar crash we all hate.
There are some good bean and lentil-based pastas on the market that boast an impressive amount of protein and fiber. (For reference, I use the Banza brand of chickpea pasta.) You might have to experiment with a few brands to find the one that best retains the traditional chewy texture once cooked. And most importantly remember to under cook several minutes (~3 minutes) shy of package directions. We should already be doing this with traditional pasta, and it's especially important here. Depending on the brand and size/shape of bean or lentil pasta, you may want to start checking at 4 or 5 minutes.
This is a quick pasta dinner that we have happily enjoyed on weeknights. But the sophisticated flavors and golden hue make it special enough to serve for a weekend dinner. Hope you love it as much as we do!
Golden Pasta with Lemon & Peas
Notes: Recipe calls for green peas and edamame. If you don't have edamame on hand, feel free to replace with more peas. Read directions carefully before beginning: peas and edamame are added to pasta the last two minutes of cooking. Reserve a mug full of pasta water before draining pasta. And pasta should cook several minutes shy of package directions. Enjoy this pasta immediately — it soaks up the sauce as it sits.
8 oz (227 gr.) high-protein pasta (I like chickpea pasta such as Banza)
1 cup (150 gr) green peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup (140 gr) frozen edamame
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling at the end)
1/2 small onion (or 2 shallots), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (less if you prefer it less spicy)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1/2 tsp. salt + black pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated (or nutritional yeast)
A few handfuls toasted, salted pistachios
Fresh basil, torn
Boil water for pasta. Drop pasta and cook several minutes shy of package directions. Add peas and edamame to boiling pasta 2 minutes before draining. Before draining, reserve a coffee mug full of pasta water. Drain pasta, peas, and edamame, rinse well, and set aside. (For Banza pasta, I cook it 7 minutes total -- 3 minutes less than the minimum recommended time. And I add peas/edamame 5 minutes in.)
While pasta water is coming to a boil, place a large, high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and salt/pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes until onion begins to soften. Add turmeric, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Cook a minute longer.
Add drained pasta, peas and edamame, half the reserved pasta water, juice of 1 lemon, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil and black pepper to taste. Thin sauce as needed using more pasta water. Top with pistachios and basil. Enjoy immediately!
*Fresh green peas provided by Bay Area Herbs & Specialties. All opinions are my own.