Monday, July 12, 2010

Sugar Snap Peas & Pasta

As much as we enjoy snacking on raw sugar snap peas, one can only eat so many. This dish caught my eye as a potentially interesting snap pea vehicle. It uses fresh peas as the base for a summery pesto.

I didn't make many changes, other than declining the recipe's suggestion to push the pesto through a mesh strainer. The dish seemed little harmed by my laziness.

Begin cooking one pound of snap peas.
In the middle of their cook time, remove one cup
 of peas and run under cold water.
Cut the removed peas in half.
Mash one clove garlic with salt.
Purée remaining snap peas with
garlic mash, olive oil, and cheese.
Toss cut peas and the purée with
one pound of penne.
At dinner time, I added a chopped tomato and some shredded chicken and it became a main dish.

'Twas even better cold.

Recipe below; printer-friendly version here.


1 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings discarded
1 lb. penne
1 medium garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (½ cup) plus additional for serving

Cook sugar snaps in an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes, then transfer 1 cup sugar snaps to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer cooled sugar snaps to a cutting board. Cook sugar snaps remaining in pot until tender, about 2½ minutes more, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Measure out and save 1 cup cooking water, reserving remaining water in pot.

Return cooking water in pot to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, then drain in colander. While pasta is cooking, cut 1 cup sugar snaps (on cutting board) crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Purée half of sugar snaps from bowl, half of garlic paste, 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ cup cheese, and ¼ cup saved cooking water in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then force purée with a rubber spatula through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Purée another batch in same manner, forcing through sieve into bowl, and add cut sugar snaps.

Toss hot pasta with sugar snap sauce and, if necessary, enough of remaining ½ cup saved cooking water to thin sauce to desired consistency, then season pasta with salt and pepper.

From Gourmet, April 2005

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