It feels like Spring has long passed. I find hints of her here and there, hiding behind the summer heat. There she is: a cool breeze at night, Sunday rain showers, tulips at the market, and these North Carolina peas. I bought them on the last day of May, an appropriate way to say goodbye to Spring and hello to Summer, I thought. Making a Spring pasta isn't difficult. Fresh herbs are a must, but beyond that you can throw anything into your pot.
I added basil and mint. The mint is what makes the dish, for sure. Add lemon, a bit of garlic, a knob of butter and a bit of olive oil, and, of course, parmesan cheese. Dinner is ready.
The best part of peas is that you can cook them with your pasta. Just wait until your pasta has about five minutes to go. Add the peas to the water and then drain them together.
Put all of your ingredients back in the pot (after simmering the garlic a little in butter) and dinner is done.
Spring Pasta with Fresh Peas
2 cups or so of fresh peas (frozen will do just fine, but adjust the cooking time so they don't turn to mush)
1 box of thin spaghetti
Juice of 1 lemon
handful chopped fresh mint
handful chopped fresh basil
2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese to taste (I like a lot of both)
1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Make sure to add salt to boiling water
2. Chop mint and basil then mince the garlic.
3. In a small pan, heat butter and simmer garlic until fragrant. Take special care not to burn.
4. When pasta is about 5 minutes from al dente, add the peas. Taste your peas and pasta along the way to make sure not to over cook.
5. Drain pasta and peas. Return them to the pot and then stir in olive oil, basil, mint, garlic.
6. Add red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese to taste. Squeeze fresh lemon over dish.