What You Need:
1 16-ounce package small shell or elbow pasta
2 garlic cloves, chopped and crisped
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup half and half
¾ cup whole milk
1 16-ounce package frozen petite peas (Do not thaw.)
2¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped and divided
Salt and pepper to taste (We add a bit of crushed red pepper.)
What You Do:
Crisp the garlic in 2 Tbsp of olive oil; remove and drain on a paper towel.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until it’s just al dente, stirring occasionally.
Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to the pot.
Bring the cream and milk to simmer in a large skillet over low-medium heat. Add peas and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. It’s important not to overheat the cream because it will separate.
Add 2¼ cups of cheese and stir until it’s melted and sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Stir in ¼ cup of parsley.
Pour sauce over pasta along with sesame seeds and crisped garlic, and toss to coat. You may add some of the pasta cooking liquid, by the tablespoon, if dish is dry.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving bowl.
Sprinkle pasta with remaining parsley.
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
Variations: Add ⅛ tsp nutmeg. Try grated carrots or chopped raw red peppers.