We make a pesto-like sauce of the cooked peas and toss it with a short pasta – penne or rotini works well, and then add in some reserved cooked sugar snaps for color and crunch.
The original recipe from the April 2005 issue of Gourmet, says to force the sauce through a sieve, but we find this an unnecessary step if the peas are fresh. And instead of garlic cloves, this time we used 5 or 6 garlic scapes from our CSA.
Also, we like to add a handful of fresh herbs to the pesto. While weeding the garden this weekend, we found another patch of mint that we are trying to keep from growing out of control. So we harvested it and tossed it into the blender with the peas.
This pasta makes a great main dish, or a nice side to the grilled Jordandal Farms pork chops that we purchased at the market on Saturday. Stella’s whole wheat bread, also from the market, rounded out the meal.
Sugar Snap Peas and Pasta
1 # sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings discarded
1 # short pasta – penne or rotini
2-3 cloves of garlic (or garlic scapes)
Fresh herbs – mint, oregano, whatever you have on hand
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or good quality, local equivalent)
Boil a large pot of salted water – you’ll use this pot to cook both the peas and pasta.
Cook sugar snaps for 2 minutes, then remove 1 cup of the peas. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Cut in half. Save to toss into the pasta at the end.
Continue cooking the remaining peas for another 2-3 minutes, until they are nice and tender.
Remove peas from pot and put in blender. Save a cup of cooking water.
Return water you cooked the peas in to a boil and then add pasta to the same water for cooking.
While pasta is cooking, finish the sauce. To peas in blender add garlic (scapes), herbs, olive oil and cheese. Puree. Add some of the cooking water to thin sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When pasta is done and drained, toss sauce with cooked pasta and peas. Sprinkle more cheese on top.
Truly fresh sugar snap peas only last a couple of weeks, but while we have them, this is a recipe we will make over and over.