Pasta and Fresh Spring Peas
There is nothing that signals spring in Italy more than fresh peas. Only about 5% of the fresh peas in the U.S. make it to markets. Most of them are frozen or canned. I must say that I like both as well. The first time I had fresh peas with pasta, I was awestruck and now try as often as I can in springtime to make this wonderful dish.
Enzo’s Pasta with Fresh Spring Peas
½ C to 1 C. of peas per person (A pound of peas in the pod will yield about 1 cup of shelled peas)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
good olive oil
fresh egg pasta
1. On low heat sauté the diced onion in a liberal amount of oil, when they are very soft and translucent, add the garlic, a bit of salt and set aside. Some people sauté a bit of pancetta also but I love the flavor of the peas on their own so I leave it out.
2. Cook the shelled peas in salted water until they are soft and creamy in the middle. The timing may surprise you; this can take as long as 15 to 20 minutes. Taste a larger one of the peas every 5 minutes or so until you have the right texture. They should not be firm in the middle at all. When the peas are cooked drain them and add the to the onion mixture. Reheat everything and set on low until the pasta is ready.
3. Cook the fresh pasta and when it is almost done, add it to the peas, add some pasta water if it seems dry. Blend all the ingredients together for a minute or two, then serve with cheese on top. A simple dish bursting with flavor, drizzle good olive oil on top and enjoy.
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