Whipped pea sauce recipe

II’ve been so ingrained in cooking the peas at the very least, until they’re so bright green and perfectly mushy, that I felt almost taboo to let them cook away from that point when I first tried them. But I stayed on the course, because I knew what was needed to capture the essence of the dishes I enjoyed in Italy when I visited several years ago at the height of the pea season.

Yes, shiny green peas occasionally appeared in the dishes I’ve eaten there, but I was surprised by the usual way in the homes and trattorias I’ve visited to cook vegetables until they’re very soft and olive green, until they begin to crumble and develop a deeper sweetness with a strong salty dimension. Cooking the peas this way gave them more comfort food appeal, which is largely in keeping with the way vegetables are “choked” in Southern cooking. Their taste reminded me of how my mom used to serve cooked peas when I was growing up, and I’m guilty of scolding them as old fashioned (sorry mom). It took that trip to Italy to realize that I absolutely love them in this old fashioned way.

In this dish, peas (fresh or frozen) are cooked in broth with sauteed onions and mashed whole garlic cloves until the vegetables are very tender and have a deeper color than green. By crushing the spoon a little while cooking, they gradually turn into a delicious pea and pasta sauce. Once the garlic has softened into the sauce and has released a good bit of its flavor, I like to pick the garlic for later seasoning or spread it on toast. But if you want the sauce to be more garlicky, feel free to mash the cloves in it. Add lightly undercooked pasta – I use whole grain, but regular is fine too – to the pan with a little more starchy cooking water to break up the sauce, and toss everything until the pasta is cooked and well coated.

Served with strips of basil and a shower of sharp Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan, if you prefer) this delicious springtime meal will open your eyes to a new way of cooking peas, one that’s been around for generations.

Macaroni with Whipped Peas

Storage notes: Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

total time: 45 minutes

serve: 4 to 5

Ingredients:

¾ teaspoon fine salt, divided, plus more as needed

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½ large sweet onion (total of 170 g), diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

450g peeled fresh peas or frozen peas (no defrosting needed if frozen)

250 ml low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste

340 grams of spaghetti, preferably whole grains

32 gm freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

32g fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

method:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with salt to taste.

In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-low heat, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and slightly golden but not brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the peas, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, raise heat to medium to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and crushing some of the peas while stirring to thicken the broth, until the peas are very soft, crumble slightly, and turn darker green, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and reserve them for another use, such as adding them to a marinade or spreading them on bread.

When the peas have simmered for 15 minutes, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than the instructions on the package. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the peas (if the peas are ready before the pasta, remove from the heat and set aside until the pasta is done).

Return the heat under the skillet to medium-high and, using tongs, flip the pasta with the peas until combined. Drizzle in the remaining tablespoon of the oil and pasta water enough, a few tablespoons at a time, to break up the sauce to the desired consistency. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until pasta is tender, 2 minutes.

Divide into shallow bowls, top each bowl with cheese and basil, season with additional salt and/or pepper, if desired, and serve.

Nutrition information per serving, based on 5| Calories: 480 Total Fat: 17g; saturated fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 4 mg. Sodium: 493 mg; carbohydrates: 69 g; Dietary fiber: 13 g; sugar: 10 g; Protein: 16 g.

This analysis is an estimate based on the ingredients available and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or dietician.

© Washington Post

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