Linguine with Onions, Peas, and Basil

January 2, 2012! How many times am I going to write that wrong. Don't get up this morning vowing to go on some big starvation diet. Diets don't work. Moderation does work. Increase the size of your salads and decrease the size of the meat portions. Increase your fluid intake, no I don't mean soft drinks. Eat fresh fruit, in moderation, for dessert. Heaven knows we've all had plenty of sugar and butter this holiday season. Try a few vegetarian dishes.

This is such a wonderful change from all the heavy holiday foods.

Linguine with Onions, Peas, and Basil
2-4 servings
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Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone

3 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 pounds fresh peas, shucked or 2 cups frozen
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
8 ounces fresh or dried linguine
1/4 cup small basil leaves, plucked into pieces
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Start heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a wide skillet. Add the onion and a few spoonsfuls water and stew over low heat until the onions are soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the peas and cook until they're bright green and tender, a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water, then scoop it out and add it to the peas, allowing a little water to fall into the pan. Add the basil and remaining butter, then toss with a large fork and spoon. Distribute the pasta among heated plates, then go back for the peas that have stayed behind and spoon them over the pasta. Add a dusting of Parmesan to each plate.

Cook's Note: Nothing wrong with adding a few sauteed mushrooms to the mix for a little extra character.