This week, our month of easy pasta continues with this insanely delicious dish, using Boursin cheese from the grocery store. Danielle from I Will Not Eat Oysters shares the recipe she’s perfected over the years…

Creamy Shells With Spring Peas
By Danielle Oron of I Will Not Eat Oysters

When I was in high school, my best friend and I decided to cook a spring dinner for our boyfriends. The only thing was, we had never attempted making more ambitious than Kraft macaroni and cheese. Our menu consisted of a big salad, chicken parm, garlic bread and asparagus pasta. It was an utter disaster. The only thing that was edible was the pasta. I didn’t know it then, but I was onto something big.

I had used a package of Boursin to make the pasta sauce, and it was so delicious. The Boursin hugged the pasta so well. It was as if it were actually a starter for a creamy pasta sauce. (Someone contact them! They need to change their marketing direction.)

After years of making this pasta sauce as a simple and luxurious weeknight dinner, I feel like I’ve really perfected it. Since spring is finally here, you can easily find peas in the markets. They’re so fresh and sweet right now, the best addition to a pasta. (You can also find a bag of fresh peas at Trader Joe’s.) The Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin is ideal for this dish. It adds so much depth with just one ingredient. The contrast between the garlic Boursin sauce and the sweet peas is divine, and the shells are the perfect vessel. The peas and sauce fill the shells so each bite bursts with flavor. The addition of lemon zest to finish the dish adds a brightness and subtle acidity. And if you’re like me, you’ll add a ton of fresh black pepper for a hit of spice. Happy spring!

Recipe: Creamy Shells With Spring Peas
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

1 lb. medium shell pasta
1 package (5.2 oz.) Garlic & Fine Herb Boursin (you can find it for a good deal at Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups fresh peas (frozen are fine too)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
zest of 1 lemon

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shells and cook until just al dente. (They will continue to cook in the sauce.) Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the shells.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the 1 cup of pasta cooking water and the Boursin. Break up the cheese as it melts. Simmer the sauce for about one minute. Add the peas and the shells to the pan and stir. Cook for about a minute until the sauce has thickened around the shells and the peas are cooked through. Stir in the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.

Plate the shells and garnish with the lemon zest and fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Thank you so much, Danielle!

P.S. More recipes, including rotini with blue cheese and spinach and pasta with caramelized onions and gorgonzola.

(Photos and recipe by Danielle Oron. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with this series)