Sweet Peas and Shells Alfredo Review

Recipe 40 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Wow, let’s just stop and recognize that I’m 40 recipes in! That’s hard to get my head around. Have I really made that many?? Crazy. I checked today and I’m just a few recipes away from being half way through the cookbook. I also noticed that when we finish next chapter, the back 3/4 of her cookbook is ALL sweet things. Kill me now. I’m restarting Weight Watchers (just one week in so far) and that is not going to be easy. I told David that we are going to have to give it away because I’ll gain everything back!! *sigh* That’s to worry about later. For now let’s be excited that 40 recipes are completed.

I think I was happy to have an easy one this week. I still feel like I’ve been amped up for big productions after those last few pizzas, calzones, and last week’s gnocchi. Oooft! I haven’t had an easy one in awhile so this was a breath of fresh air. Also, it’s hot so I liked not having my oven on forever!

I went to Aldi this past week for groceries and they didn’t have mini pasta shells like Deb calls for. But I found these orecchiette pasta and I knew that would work as a substitute. I’ve used this “little ear” pasta before when cooking with my Blue Apron boxes so it wasn’t completely foreign.

It takes more like 12 to 15 minutes to cook because it’s thicker but it worked great for this recipe. Mine finished up just around 13 min.

Confession: I don’t know where to get fresh peas!! I skipped going to the farmer’s market this weekend because I forgot I needed them for this recipe. But, man…canned peas are the worst. Look at those things!! Peas are terrible to me but when they have the hue of a caper they are really unappealing. *shudder* They were not a strong flavor but they make you feel like you’re doing something better for yourself with a calorie heavy dish.

This alfredo was a really nice change from others I’ve had. She calls for lemon zest to be added. That surprised me because it doesn’t seem like the flavors would go well together , but it’s really nice and almost lightens up the expected heaviness from the sauce.

This sauce was less time consuming then others I’ve had but very flavorful and the best consistency. I used store bought grated parmesan but if you have freshly grated, use that. It would meld into the sauce better, no doubt.

And the best news of all is… this is kid friendly! My 1 year old daughter ate it! That’s such a big deal with a toddler who is picky. She’s currently vetoing mac and cheese so I was sure this would not make it either. But she gobbled it right up for lunch and dinner.

This make 3-4 generous portions and it’s very filling. So, Ellie is working on her portion for the whole week. Score.

This is a delicious and easy dinner that you can get on your table in 45 min or less. You could add more veggies to it…roasted would be awesome…to give you some smaller pasta portions but healthier servings. As I said, I’m doing Weight Watchers again but this was not a WW friendly lunch. I spent 20 points (out of a daily 29) on this guy. Every bite was worth it but, it was a splurge.

Give it a try readers! You can find her recipe from other bloggers who have glowing reviews as well:



figsinmybelly.com (she talks about a vegan friendly method with almond cream instead of heavy cream)

That’s all… happy alfredo making everyone!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. K says:

    Thawed frozen peas is a nice substitute for fresh peas.You could even use a frozen pea and corn mix or other frozen small sized veggie minx. Canned peas are too mushy and drab. Medium sized shells or another similar shaped pasta would work, too.

    1. Jessica says:

      Totally! Learned that the hard way!

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