On busy week nights whip up this simple combination of pasta, zesty lemon, vegetables and basil.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced very thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
zest and juice 1 lemon
400 grams dried tagliatelle
1½ cups frozen baby peas
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
handful basil leaves, ripped
4 tablespoons crème fraîche (optional)
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the fennel and garlic. Season then cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, adding the peas for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Take out 2 tablespoons of the cooking water then drain the pasta and peas. Tip back into the saucepan and add the fennel mixture and cooking water. Add half the Parmesan and basil and give it a couple of stirs.
To serve: Divide between warm shallow dishes and top with the remaining Parmesan and basil, a grind of black pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. Top with a spoonful of crème fraîche if desired and pass extra Parmesan for grating.