From River Cottage Veg, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who recommends garnishing with fresh basil and parsley. But if you want to amp up the flavor, I'd recommend adding bacon or cooked ham, or garnishing with chopped toasted almonds. —Nicholas Day
shelled small peas, fresh or frozen
pasta, in a small shape (like macaroni, fusilli, orecchiette)
Put on a large pot of salted water on to boil. Then put the peas in a separate saucepan and add water to just cover. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender -- a couple of minutes. Drain the peas -- but reserve their cooking water.
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat; add the garlic and cook gently for several minutes. Remove from the heat.
Put half the cooked peas in a blender with 6 tablespoons of their cooking water, the butter and garlic, and the grated cheese. Puree until smooth, adding more cooking water if necessary. Combine with the remaining (whole) peas and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and toss with the hot pea sauce. Serve with more grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste.