Friday, March 6, 2009

Pasta with peas, green garlic and cream

Nothing says spring like green garlic and peas. Toss them in a pasta with a little cream and serve with crusty whole grain bread, a light frisée radish salad, a glass of crisp sauvignon blanc and you have a perfect, yummy spring comfort meal.

Many people seem intimidated with the idea of shelling peas. This is just silly. It only takes a few extra minutes to prepare and the taste is so much more satisfying than the frozen ones. However, if that is all you have available they are an acceptable substitute.

If you have never heard of or used green garlic then you are really missing out and it is time to give it a try. Green garlic is just young garlic. It looks a lot like green onions and has a very similar texture. It tastes and smells like garlic, but it is much more delicate and mild.

1/4 pound of spaghetti. This would also work very nicely with a penne or bow pasta.
1/2 a cup of shelled peas (just over 1/2 pound of peas with shells)
2 tablespoons roughly minced green garlic
1/2- to 3/4 cups heavy cream
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper

Cook pasta in boiling salted water- I like to use a good coarse sea salt for my pasta water. As Silva, my friend in Italy says “your pasta water should be as salty as the sea”. For some delicious recipes and fun stories check our her blog at

Your pasta should be al dente, don’t over cook.

Cook the peas in boiling water for about a minute or two. Once they float to the top let them cook for about 30 seconds or until they are done. You want to keep the peas nice and crisp for this dish. Drain the peas and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauté pan to medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until the garlic is translucent. Add the cream and bring to a simmer and cook about another minute or so until the cream thickens slightly. Add a tablespoon of cheese and a sprinkle of kosher salt to taste. Turn off the heat and add the peas.

Drain the pasta and toss into the cream. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Servings: 2 main course or 4 smaller servings. Since this dish is rich you might want to serve smaller portions as a first course.

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