Crème Fraîche Pasta With Peas and Scallions

Crème Fraîche Pasta With Peas and Scallions

Here’s an easy weeknight pasta featuring crème fraîche, the richer, slightly less tangy cousin of sour cream. It’s combined with Parmesan, lemon zest and starchy pasta cooking water for a sauce that is creamy, velvety and bright. Whole bunches of scallions caramelize until their edges char, lending sweetness and a hint of smoke, while raw scallions add color as a garnish. To preserve the brightness of the peas, throw them in the pasta cooking water at the very end and drain along with the shells. Plan appropriately, and the sauce and scallions can be prepared in the time it takes the pasta to cook.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Step 2

    Trim the scallions. Thinly slice 1 or 2 scallions on the diagonal and set aside for garnish. Cut the remaining scallions into 1/2-inch-long pieces.
  3. Step 3

    In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add the 1/2-inch scallion pieces, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions start to caramelize, soften and brown in spots, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Step 4

    Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
  5. Step 5

    While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: In a large bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the Parmesan, crème fraîche and lemon zest; mix to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot reserved pasta water until the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the charred scallions.
  6. Step 6

    When the pasta is done, add the peas to the water and turn off the heat. Immediately drain the pasta and peas together, and add them to the sauce in the large bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine, adding more reserved pasta water as desired to loosen the sauce to a silky texture. Season to taste.
  7. Step 7

    Serve immediately. Divide among bowls and top with more pepper and reserved sliced scallions. Serve with the lemon wedges, for squeezing on top.