Fresh Pea Pods

Agata says:

Fresh peas are a natural match for orecchiette pasta – the “little ears” are just concave enough to nestle one pea. In Southern Italy they are also combined with cavatelli – the tightly clenched pasta shells.

This recipe uses prosciutto and mushrooms for additional flavor, but you can omit them and still have a very tasty dish. If you prefer rice to pasta as your starch of choice, you can spoon this pea melange over steamed Basmati rice. It would make a wonderful side for grilled or roasted fish.

Pasta e Piselli

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh pea pods
¼ cup A&V Sicilian extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
1 large sweet onion, cut in half crosswise and thinly sliced
4 oz. prosciutto (in one chunk) diced
½ lb. small white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup chicken stock (use A&V’s fresh stock in our reach-in fridge)
½ lb. A&V’s orecchiette or cavatelli pasta
2 tbs. fresh chopped Italian parsley
salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Shell peas and put into a small pot. Add water only to cover and a dash of salt (which helps to keep them green). Parboil for 3-5 minutes and set whole pot aside.
2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium/low heat Add onions, prosciutto and mushrooms and saute slowly until onions begin to wilt and become transparent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add peas with their water and cook 10 minutes more. If mixture seems a little too dry add chicken stock.
4. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water until aldente. Drain and add to skillet with vegetables and peas. Turn heat to low and let simmer another minute so pasta can absorb the flavor of the peas.
5. Serve with pepper and parsley sprinkled on top. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.
Serves 4