Orecchiette with Peas and Wild Leek Pesto

pea pod
When I brought home a huge bag of fresh peas in the pod and showed them to my husband he groaned because he knew I’d be enlisting his help. He ended up being at work when I decided to use them so was off the hook. I actually like shelling peas, it’s a meditative process, you get to Zen out.

orecchiette with peas and wild leek pesto

Music makes any task more fun. I always have a kitchen soundtrack. I often leave the same CD in the kitchen CD player for months on end and listen to that album exclusively when cooking. It was Ween for the longest time, then the Smiths, then a mixed CD my friend David made for me. Recently I’ve been listening to a radio station that plays mostly 80’s music. Once when I was singing along to a Billy Idol song, Eyes Without a Face, my husband came running out of the bathroom because he thought the dog was howling.

shelled peas thistle

fresh shelled peas
The last time I bought peas I didn’t get nearly enough, so this time I was sure to get a large amount. 12 handfuls of peas in the pod (1 kg) took about 20 minutes to shuck working at a leisurely pace, and yielded 2 1/2 cups of peas. Orecchiette, or little ears, are the perfect pasta shape to go with peas. When the peas nestle into the domed hollow of the pasta it makes me think of a mini pasta-pea-taco, or a baseball tucked into a catchers mitt. I’ve only ever made this dish with fresh peas (not frozen), they pop in your mouth.


Orecchiette with Peas and Wild Leek Pesto

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups of peas, shelled
1 lb orecchiette
1/2 cup wild leek pesto (or more to taste)
goat cheese
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Using strainer insert, lower peas into boiling water and cook for 1 minute, until just cooked and vibrant green. Lift peas out and plunge into ice bath or run cold water over to stop cooking.

Bring same pot of cooking water back to a boil, then cook pasta according to package directions. When done strain pasta, but do not run cold water over. Transfer to large serving bowl.

Stir wild leek pesto into hot pasta. Let cool briefly before adding peas, so the heat of the pasta doesn’t cook the peas any further.

Serve each portion with goat cheese crumbled over top and freshly ground black pepper. I like this best eaten room temperature or cold.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.