Orrecchiette with Peas and Chives

Dinner:  May 21, 2007

I never liked peas as a kid; I hated them, in fact, and my little brother loved to torment me by placing a lone pea in the center of my dinner plate before we sat down to eat. Much of the problem is that the peas we were eating back in the day were of the canned, grayish variety… but my first taste of fresh peas, bright green and sweet, got me hooked. Now I can’t get enough of them, and I eagerly await the appearance of fresh peas every spring.

give peas a chance

I definitely wanted our meal last night to be quick to put together; I didn’t want to be messing around in the kitchen still by the time the Heroes season finale started (priorities, of course). Pasta is always a good option for a quick meal, and I’ve been wanting to play with the combination of orrecchiette and peas for a while now. I also figured I could shave off a bit of prep time by blanching my peas right in the pasta water.

While the orrecchiette cooked, I put together a quick sauce. I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan, added a cup of heavy cream, seasoned it with salt and pepper and brought it just to a boil. I reduced the heat and whisked in 4 ounces of soft fresh goat cheese until it was fully incorporated and the sauce was smooth. I added the blanched peas to the sauce with a couple of tablespoons of lemon zest, and finished the pasta in the sauce like I usually do.

I added 2 cups of fresh pea shoots off the heat and tossed everything through just before serving. The pasta went into bowls, and I finished them off with a bit more lemon zest and some finely chopped chives and chive blossoms. The oniony bite of the fresh chives and blossoms was a really nice contrast to the sweet peas and creamy, slightly tart goat cheese sauce.

La Ferme Martin

Wine Pairing: We were inspired by last week’s Brooklyn Uncorked, and thought it would be fun to drink all local wines with our dinners this week. We’re big fans of this Le Ferme Martin Chardonnay from Wolffer Estate, particularly with seafood or with creamy dishes like this pasta.

11 thoughts on “Orrecchiette with Peas and Chives

  1. Lovely! Aren’t chive blossoms so beautiful and tasty? They are one of my favorite ingredients this time of year.

    I also hated peas as a child; a bowl of peas could not even be placed next to me at the table – I couldn’t stand the smell. Funny how things change when we get older.

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Hi Lisa – I totally agree, chive blossoms are something I’m really gorging on right now. I’m putting them into as many things as I can think of!

    I think my mom is amazed at the things I’ll eat these days. I don’t think I was as picky as she remembers, but I know I did have some strong feelings about certain items. :)

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    I did – we have chives growing all over our yard, but the biggest patch (which we transplanted to a central location in our garden bed) is growing like crazy with tons of blossoms.

  4. I’ve never tried chives blossoms [or even considered them edible, for that matter]–thanks for the new food idea! They look like they’d be a beautiful and colorful addition to a salad. I have to tell you, Jennifer, every time i read your blog, I want to be eating the dinner you describe.

  5. Jennifer Hess says:

    Aw, thanks, Terry – you’re making me blush!

    Definitely try the chive blossoms – they’re wonderful in salads, in pasta, and really amazing with eggs.

  6. What a surprise…Jennifer poured the La Ferme Martin Chardonnay ;)

    Hope to introduce you guys to some other local whites one of these days!

  7. Christima says:

    Your recipe inspired me- as soon as I saw it on Tastespotting, I knew I wanted to try it, but alas I am stuck in the middle of Worcester with no car. That being said, a natural foods store is within walking distance, so I used fresh local red pepper, a little onion, scallions and alfalfa sprouts- yummy! Thanks!

  8. I am making this recipe right now…no, literally, I am. I forgot where I saw it but luckily was able to find it again by googling “chives, goat cheese, peas.” Google really is wonderful. It keepesme fed!

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