Pasta & Fresh Peas

sauce close uppanpeas and P close upClose up

The first thing I noticed about the pasta dishes in Italy is that they were pure, perfect and astonishingly simple. I found there was never too much of this and too little of that, when I ate fettuccine with Portobello Mushrooms (and it was often) I definitely savored with much clarity the mushroom’s earthiness, they were the star of the dish and not bulldozed off the plate by the use of too much butter, herbs and spices.

Most of the pasta sauces I had in Italy consisted of two or three ingredients. The pasta was served in small portions, elegant and bursting with the profundity of the flavors used and always served before the main course. Yet, some pasta dishes from southern Italy were more elaborate and they included all kinds of fun ingredients such as raisins and currants, and many were topped with pine nuts, almonds and pistachios. I love the idea of topping a pasta dish off with nuts and using all kinds of different ingredients in a sauce, however I fell madly in love with the idea of using only a few ingredients when making a pasta sauce.
ing. Pasta and P

As some of you know I am staying with my parents this summer, and after taking a ride to Western Massachusetts today (after we devoured the fruit torte I made them for breakfast) to see the small town my parents lived almost fifty-eight years ago when my father landed his first teaching job after college; we rode by their old apartment, and the brick school house he taught and my mother, (no joke) sang The Way We Were, and Dad and I shed a few tears because my mother is a lousy singer. They talked about the old days, and laughed and fought and because they both behaved fairly well, I bought them both a Happy Meal at McDonalds and promised them a nice meal later that evening.

On the stove, as I write this blog, the two love birds are in the other room arguing about what program they want to watch on TV and on the stove across from me is something I learned to make in Italy, pasta and fresh peas; simple tasty and satisfying.

This is how to do it: Cut one large onion into strips and sautéed in plenty of olive oil with a dash of black pepper, salt and a half teaspoon of dry sweet basil. Cook until the onions are translucent and add a 28 oz. can of ground peeled tomatoes, two chopped garlic cloves, half cup of water and simmer for 30 minutes.

Boil a pound of pasta (in Italy the family I was with used Ditaloni but I don’t feel like running to the store so I am breaking up linguini which I am sure is some sort of awful sin in Italy.) A few minutes before the pasta is ready, add the fresh peas to the sauce and continue to simmer. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Serve in bowls and top with grated parmesan and a twirl of olive oil.

The fresh peas balance off the sweetness of the onions, making this dish truly springy and delicious!

Pasta and PeasparentsSchool

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About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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29 Responses to Pasta & Fresh Peas

  1. Maryanne jago says:

    Aww, so sweet. I love this story/ recipe, but I would have to remove the peas !!! Looks yummy !!!!

    Like

  2. PAT KIRYLO says:

    I am so impressed! And, I am going to make it according to your recipe. Thank you John!!

    Like

  3. Mary Russo says:

    Love the story..so cute you took them back to where it all started ❤ I am going to make this.. My son Nick loves peas and know he will love this dish..so excited..easy and yummy are the best combo for me 🙂

    Like

  4. Catie says:

    This looks so good!! Can’t wait to try it.

    Like

  5. Gina Vita says:

    Another great recipe- you bring me back to Italy with your posts.

    Like

  6. What a lovely post! I lived in Italy for a couple of years and what I learned there about food blew a hole in my life that was quickly filled with simple, fresh and beautiful ingredients!

    Like

  7. johncpicardi says:

    YUM! Have you ever made pesto with spinach? Amazing!

    Like

  8. Jean Alphin says:

    Hello John, Very interesting site. Thanks for sharing. I plan on trying this recipe. Can’t wait.

    Like

  9. Love the sweet story. Looks delicious and I agree that the simpler the recipe is the better. Fresh ingredients go a long way.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my post on Danish cobbler! I look forward to reading more of your adventures in cooking.

    Like

    • johncpicardi says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and yes I am discovering after all these years the fewer the ingredients with certain things the better! John

      Like

  10. Looks delish………..and thanks for the follow.

    Like

  11. bhavani says:

    always wanted to try pasta with peas… and the plain version just was never appealing… this one sounds real nice!

    and thanks for the like and follow! 🙂

    Like

  12. Looks delish. And simple enough that I can make it. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  13. Chef Ashley says:

    Love the story and dish. I’ve tried different variations of this, will try yours tonight!

    Like

  14. linettefm says:

    I love pasta and peas. I make a roasted garlic sauce that is light and always add fresh peas. The little green dots always make a plate look happier. I’m thinking you just helped me with what I will be making for dinner on Tuesday……and with the red sauce 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Like

  15. Chandni@Sheikhland says:

    Hi John! A very interesting blog, I must say. Pleased to have found it, the foodie I am. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post. 🙂

    Like

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