Primavera a Tavola: Paccheri con Piselli e Basilico
The ingredients: fresh peas, fresh basil, Pecorino Romano, olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it. Simplicity is so satisfying – as with this dish!
Remove the peas from their pods. *(Two pounds of peas will serve four to six people)*
Steam the peas for about three minutes over medium heat – check them occasionally to make sure that you remove them when they are still vibrant green. Place in a ice water bath or run under cold water so to stop further cooking/retain color and texture.
Purée 2/3 of the peas with:
– 2 Tbs shredded Pecorino Romano
– 2 Tbs Olive oil
– 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
– 8 leaves of basil
Boil the pasta – I love Paccheri as a shape for this dish because they catch the peas and purée inside the opening. Be sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid from the pasta.
Dilute the purée with three tablespoons of the water in which the pasta is cooked, of course only after some starch has been released into the water.
In a saucepan, (towards the end of the cooking of the pasta) heat a small amount of olive oil and quickly toss the remaining whole peas in the oil.
Strain the pasta into the saucepan with peas – a bit of the starchy water should still remain in the openings of the Paccheri so to help bind the purée to the pasta. Toss the pasta with the peas briefly and then add the purée, mixing until it’s fully combined over medium heat.
At the table, finish the dish with a sprinkling of shaved Pecorino, freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly torn basil.
Pair this dish with Tocai Friulano, Verduzzo, or Ribolla Gialla.
Buon pranzo o buona cena!!!