Fusilli with spring herbs and fresh peas recipe
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I mixed a handful of fresh herbs in with some ground Parmesan and almonds and tossed with hot pasta and fresh peas to make this easy dinner.
1 person made this
- 450g fusilli pasta
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 handful fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, sage, oregano)
- 100g Parmesan cheese, cubed
- 50g whole almonds
- 50ml olive oil
- 250g fresh or frozen peas
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions, or until al dente.
- Meanwhile, place the garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince followed by the herbs, pulsing to mince. Transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.
- No need to rinse the bowl of the food processor, just add the Parmesan and almonds and process to grind; it just takes a minute. The texture should be crumbly, not a paste.
- Drain pasta, and place pot back on the hob over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, and mix in herbs. Stir for one minute. Add peas, and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and nut mixture. Cover, and set aside for a few minutes to warm the peas. Serve.
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Springy Ricotta Gnocchi With Peas and Herbs
If you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of making fresh pasta at home, look no further. Ricotta gnocchi is simple to make, and it’s faster and more foolproof than its potato counterparts. The only tricky part is adding enough flour so that your dough is easy to work with, but not so much that it becomes stodgy or tough. For this recipe, you want to use a grocery store ricotta—not something homemade or small-batch. And if you don't want to make the buttery herb and pea sauce, use whatever youɽ prefer, be it marinara, pesto, or sage and brown butter.
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When fresh peas season hits, grab them — and make these 3 easy recipes
Now is the time to embrace the emerald green wonders of spring: Sweet peas. Fresh, sweet green peas are one of the few vegetables found only in their brief season. Beyond spring, fresh pod peas (aka shelling peas or English peas) barely exist.
For a few brief spring weeks, fresh shelling peas grace the bins at farmers markets and produce stands ready for shucking. If you’ve not cooked fresh peas, know that their sweetness and deep, green vegetable flavor are like none other. Like sweet corn, the natural sugars in the peas change as they age — even day-old peas have a different sweetness than fresh picked. If you’re into it, buy both and cook them side by side. You’ll taste the difference.
Shucking peas sounds like a romantic job best done on the porch rocking chair. True, but shucking during a Netflix marathon works, too. Simply hold the pea pod with the seam toward you and pop it open at the end opposite where it was attached to the vine. Use your fingertip to dislodge the peas into a bowl. It takes nearly 1 ½ pounds of peas in the pod to yield a cup of shelled peas.
I must confess that I am a fan of the containers of shucked peas some market vendors sell — super time-saving. I can toss them in my weekend post-farmers market omelet, or have a fresh green vegetable on the table in less than 5 minutes. That is, if I don’t munch on them all in their raw state of spring goodness.
No shucking required for spring’s other pea offerings: Snow peas and sugar snaps. Snow peas, aka Chinese peas, are flat, pale green and picked and eaten before the peas inside plump. Sugar snaps likewise, are consumed pod, pea and all. Both are much beloved for their crunch and readily available in small bags in most grocery stores. Do scoop them up when they appear at the farmers market — they have a superior crunch and sweetness to their packaged brethren.
Except for the very smallest snow peas and sugar snap peas, you’ll need to string this type of pea. Simply hold the pea at the end that was connected to the vine and pull down to remove the string. The effort pays off when the peas are eaten raw as a snack or sauteed or steamed as a vegetable side.
We tuck more pea flavor into salads and stir fries with fresh pea shoots (aka pea greens). The tender shoots come from a cultivar of snow peas and are used widely in Chinese cooking. Due to their popularity with chefs, fresh pea shoots now appear at farmers markets and specialty stores in addition to Asian markets. I buy pea shoots, which are extremely fragile, the day I plan to cook them — if kept dry and refrigerated they can last a day or two at most. I like to use small, delicate-tasting leaves and tendrils in salads and as a garnish. If the shoots sport large leaves and thickish stems, saute them in olive oil — they wilt like spinach — for about a minute.
Life is good when I have all the pea options before me — so I cook them together and season them lightly with spring herbs, plenty of sweet butter and coarse salt. Peas in abundance mean a simple soup enhanced with the dark green flavors (and occasionally some heat) from a poblano chile. Serve the soup hot with fresh cheese or cold with hot pepper sauce.
Dinner at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Band of Bohemia inspired the recipe for skirt steak with peas and greens. The brewpub served the steak on a bed of grits. Brilliant textural contrast with the thinly sliced beef and delicate greens. Use pea shoots in the greens mix when they are available. Enjoy this dish with a citrusy sour beer or a wheat beer.
Of course, frozen peas can stand in for all the fresh peas in these recipes.
Plenty of peas with butter and herbs
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
You’ll need about 3 pounds peas in the pod to yield 2 cups shucked peas. Variations on this simple recipe include swapping out the butter for extra-virgin olive oil and/or changing the fresh dill to fresh basil. Caramelized sliced onions or pearl onions are gorgeous added to the cooked and buttered peas. I love flakes of Maldon sea salt here of course, ordinary table salt works too.
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) fresh snow peas, trimmed of their strings, cut crosswise in half or thirds
2 cups (6 ounces) small sugar snap peas, trimmed of their strings, optional
2 cups (about 10 ounces) freshly shucked green peas (English peas)
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1. Heat a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the snow peas and the sugar snap peas. Cook, 1 minute. Add the shucked peas. Cook just until the peas turn bright green and lose a touch of their crunch, 1 ½ to 2 minutes more. Drain well return to the pan.
2. Add half of the butter to the pan swirl to melt it into the peas. Stir in the chives, dill and a pinch or two of salt. Top with remaining butter. Serve right away.
Nutrition information per serving (for 6 servings): 113 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 4 g protein, 118 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
Spring Peas with New Potatoes, Herbs and Watercress
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook over moderately high heat until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a plate and let cool, then halve or quarter any large potatoes.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the potato water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato cooking water, then drain the peas and add them to the skillet.
Add the potatoes and the reserved cooking water to the skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Add the mint, chives and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the watercress. Transfer the vegetables to a warmed bowl and serve.
Fusilli Pasta With Herb Pesto & Shrimp for Gabe
My daughter and her family come to stay with us here in Umbria for three weeks every summer and I love sharing our Italian experience with my grandkids, and know that my daughter who spent her high school years here, also wants her children to know and embrace their Italian heritage. This year during their stay, we made a pilgrimage down to Calabria to San Giovanni in Fiore where my Father-In-Law was born, then headed to the beaches of Calabria to relax along the shore and enjoy the seafood.
My grandkids, compared to most American children, would probably be considered as fairly adventurous eaters, and I love seeing them experience and fall in love with new foods. My youngest grandson could even be described as a little reckless with his dining choices as I remember a recent trip to Venice when he ate all of my discarded shrimp tails (shells only) and rubbery sea snails, then tried to order them the next day for lunch. He was quite surprised that they didn’t offer shrimp tails on the menu, and in fact you had to order the entire shrimp (which he didn’t want)! This same child, who is now just five years old, couldn’t get enough mussels on our trip to Calabbria, cleaned and ate a whole grilled fish like his Nonno, and had us running from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus because he was craving octopus. My granddaughter, our only girl, and the sweetest, nicest girl ever, has always had an adventurous palete, and from the time she was a little girl was willing to try anything. She loves to take hummus to school for lunch, begged me to make her fried zucchini flowers (then ate at least a dozen), and her favorite pizza is a meat lovers pizza topped with lots of anchovies. That alone should tell you something about her tastes!
My eldest grandson though is more like his father, and moves more slowly when trying new foods. This year he did fall in love with Italian tomatoes, and when we were in Calabria he embraced our love of seafood with a vengeance, ordering it every meal he could. I am not sure he loved every dish he ordered, but one dish he truly did fall in love with at a small trattoria in Tropea was a pasta dish made with pesto and fresh shrimp. When he asked if I could make this dish for him when we returned to Umbria, I was very happy to do so.
Most folks think that a pesto sauce must be made of basil, along with a little garlic, some toasted pine nuts, olive oil and grated cheese. Pesto can be made with many other options however, and for this pesto I combined both parsley and basil in my sauce. The great thing about making pesto is that you can vary the flavor combinations depending on what is available and what flavors you prefer. This summer in fact, I have fallen in love with pesto made from celery leaves and lightly toasted almonds with just a little hot red pepper and lemon zest. Herbs such as parsley, basil, celery leaves, coriander and mint work well in a pesto sauce, and you can also use arugula, spinach, or even broccoli to create a tasty sauce. If pine nuts are too expensive, instead throw in some pistachios, almonds or walnuts. Want to change up the flavor even more? Include some lemon zest or juice, or a dash of red pepper flakes.
This is the best spring pasta salad recipe.
It is hearty, but also bright and balanced. The base is made of half pasta and half vegetables. So it’s equally as comforting as it is nutritious. It is packed with an abundance of aromatics and tossed in a zesty, lemon vinaigrette that’s infused with healthy fat.
A vegan pasta salad that is a total celebration of asparagus, peas, dill and mint. All of which are in season right now. Bookmark this spring pasta salad for now and swap in other seasonal ingredients for later this summer.
Instead of the asparagus and peas, you can try cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. And instead of the dill and mint, you can try basil and parsley. I think you’ll find it is quite versatile. And super easy to make in only one pot and one mixing bowl in under twenty minutes.
Rachel Roddy's recipe for spring greens and pasta
In springtime, Roman rains give life to a new crop of peas, broad beans, and all sorts of herbs and greens, and the locals make the most of them in dishes such as this dish of braised peas with fusilli and ricotta
Fusilli with spring greens, fusilli and ricotta. Photograph: Rachel Roddy/The Guardian
Fusilli with spring greens, fusilli and ricotta. Photograph: Rachel Roddy/The Guardian
Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.29 BST
H ad I written this column yesterday, it would have been full of Roman spring sunshine. Today it is not. I read the other day that Rome has 28% more rain per annum than London, but also a full 270 days of sunshine each year, which goes some way to explain the way in which rain comes down over this city, in sheets or bathtubs. “How do the Romans manage the deluge?” my dad asked my partner Vincenzo, who replied, as if stating the obvious: “They stay at home.”
It stops as suddenly as it starts, then the sun is back as if nothing happened: part miracle, part nonchalant teenager, drying everything off. This dance of rain and sun is one of the reasons Rome’s spring vegetables are the way they are: the sweetest peas and broad beans, great thistles, a chlorophyll-injected, grass-like vegetable called agretti, hops, borage as hairy as two-day stubble, ragged chicory, and all sorts of herbs and salad greens.
I imagine asparagus, both wild and tame, to be rather like the older men and women of Testaccio, patiently waiting for the rain to stop and sun to return. When it does – bingo! They are in the piazza on the best bench, unfurling from coats, faces upturned towards warmth and light.
I admire the way Romans treat spring vegetables: by not doing much to them. New-season spinach is wilted, drained, then cooked again with olive oil – possibly butter, too and garlic, and maybe a handful of raisins (plumped up in warm water first). Agretti is boiled briefly then served all’agro, which means sour – so with lemon and olive oil. Young salad is dressed simply: salted quite a lot, oiled generously, but with just a jot of vinegar.
When comes to cooking peas and broad beans, Romans often opt for a sort of steamy braise. This is done by first frying some onion and cured pork (pancetta, prosciutto, guanciale or bacon) in lard or olive oil until soft, then adding the podded peas, a pinch of salt and a little liquid (water, broth or wine), and bubbling until the peas are just cooked, with just a little juice left – more essence than anything. Quite how long you need to bubble depends on the peas or beans. The very first of the season need just a minute or two – more a dip than a bath – to maintain their grassy sweetness and colour (if they are not sweet enough, a pinch of sugar helps). As the season progresses and the peas get bigger and more starchy, they need longer in the braise, which means their colour darkens, but what they lose in “pop”, they gain in flavour.
Peas cooked this way make an excellent side dish, with roast chicken, lamb chops or white fish. They are also lovely stirred into pasta, especially spirals of fusilli, bow-ties of farfalle or ears of orecchiette. If you do have pasta in mind, spring onions – both white and green parts – work well and be generous with the extra-virgin olive oil. Cook until everything is soft enough to wrap around the pasta before adding your peas (fresh or frozen). If you are leaving out the cured pork, salt well and throw in a herb or handful of other cooked greens, then top with a big spoonful of ricotta (thinned with a little milk to make it softer) and a Roman rainfall-style handful of grated parmesan.
There may be sourdough in this recipe, but with scallions, peas, fresh herbs, and greens tossed in a bright vinaigrette, this totally counts as a salad.
small loaf sourdough bread, preferably stale (about 12 oz)
scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped, dark green parts thinly sliced
Persian cucumbers, smashed, halved lengthwise and then sliced
fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, mint, dill)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Cut crusts off bread and tear bread into large pieces. On rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 1 tablespoon oil and roast until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining 3 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper stir in chopped scallions.
- Add cucumber and toss to coat, then toss with toasted bread. Add peas, herbs and greens and toss gently to combine.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): About 235 calories, 10.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 7 g protein, 505 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (3 cups)
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices (3 cups)
- 3/4 pound fusilli or other short pasta
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint or parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (3/4 cup)
While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, heat oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until bacon fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes.
Pushing onion and bacon to edge of skillet, add mushrooms to center, in a single layer as much as possible. Raise heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until mushrooms begin to sizzle and brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle mushrooms with salt, and stir onion and bacon into mushrooms. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.
When water boils, add pasta to boiling water, and cook until almost al dente, about 10 minutes (do not drain water). Transfer pasta to skillet using a strainer. Reduce heat to low, and gradually stir in 1 cup pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time. Toss over low heat until sauce is silky and pasta is well coated, 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn off heat. Stir in mint or parsley, and half the cheese. Season with pepper. Divide among 4 bowls, and top with remaining cheese.
Spinach is an iron-rich superfood that must be part of your repertoire. In the spring, spinach appears brighter and greener, and we think the tender leaves are more tasty in the springtime. Baby spinach, which is harvested before it’s mature, is especially delicate. See how to grow spinach.
Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Chicken Spinach Salad
Credit: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Rosemary Chicken With Spinach
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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