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.
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.
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.