Creamy Fusilli with Carrots, Peas and Breadcrumbs

This pasta has such a beautiful, creamy and crunchy texture, and a very rustic, earthy flavor. Even though it's full of carrots and peas, my friends used to beg my mom to make this dish when they came for dinner--even back in elementary school!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
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Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/4 cups finely grated carrots (see Cook's Note)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 pound fusilli (see Cook's Note)

3 to 4 tablespoons minced mint leaves

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the toasted breadcrumbs aside in a small bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and chicken stock to the skillet and simmer until the stock is hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots and continue to simmer until the carrots are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. (This is a good time to boil your pasta.) Simmer until the reduces by one-fourth, about 5 minutes. Set the sauce aside; cover and keep warm while you cook the pasta.
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce, about half of the breadcrumbs and all of the mint.
  6. Divide the pasta into bowls and top with a sprinkle of the remaining breadcrumbs and some Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Cook’s Note

You can grate the carrots in a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment or on the small holes of a box grater. I like to use the fusilli that's long like spaghetti but twisted, or the corkscrew-like short fusilli. The pasta needs to be a shape that the sauce will latch onto.

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