Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peas and Herbs Pasta--Before I Go

This weekend I am leaving on an almost month-long, and probably rainy and cold vacation in Poland and I am desperately trying to empty my refrigerator and freezer. Although I have known about that for weeks and not been buying much food, my refrigerator is still packed. For some, this could be an extra food stock, for me this is a minimum, survival supply.

I hope that there would not be a major storm that will cut power for hours and unfreeze all the frozen goods. But I also have quite a lot of fresh produce that will not survive my three-week absence. So I have been experimenting with all that is left and if I had been in the mood I should have organised a party to make that stock disappear. But I was just too busy.

Last week I made a pretty good progress in emptying shelves, but yesterday I found a piece of ricotta salata that will turn into blue cheese if I do not use it now. I had no fresh vegetable to make salad of it, but still had a bag of frozen peas, and I thought about a pasta dish that once I read about in Gourmet magazine. I still had one lemon that was needed and all the herbs that are growing in my yard. Without much cooking, a fresh and summery pasta was ready in minutes--a proof that pasta can be made from anything.

Peas and Herbs Pasta

1 box farfalle,
8 oz (1/2 lb) fresh peas or one bag of frozen,
1/2 lb ricotta salata,
1 lemon,
1/2 cup basil leaves,
2 tbsp fresh tarragon,
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

1. Cook pasta in a large pot with a tbsp of salt. When it is almost al dente add peas and cook for a couple of minutes, until they become soft but still bright green. Strain everything on a colander.
2. Grate ricotta salata on a large grater into a large bowl. Grate a peel from one lemon and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add fresh chopped herbs, olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and salt if needed.

3. Add hot pasta with peas, mix and serve.

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