The garden peas are ready to eat and I have been noshing on them for over a week now. I still prefer them raw, right off the vine, like when I was a child. As a result, I hardly ever have enough to freeze, can, or otherwise preserve. But one meal that has become a pea-harvest tradition is this Pasta and Peas recipe, adapted from The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook by Tom Lacalamita. The cookbook version calls this a soup, but I make it more as a saucy pasta dish. Serve with red wine for the perfect light spring or summer dish.
- 3/4 lb. medium pasta shells
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 – 14oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 cups fresh garden peas
- 3/4 cup water reserved from cooking pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas to the cooking pasta during the final 5 minutes. The peas should be bright green but barely cooked through when the pasta is ready. Drain, reserving water. Alternatively, cook peas in the microwave oven and then add to drained pasta.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add shallot and sauté until tender but not browned. Add tomatoes, basil, and reserved water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add to the drained pasta and peas and stir to combine. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
Makes 2 very hearty or 3 average servings.