Reginelle con Parmigiana e Piselle
Things are heating up here in the South, which means it’s time to start harvesting in my garden! I’ve wanted to come up with recipes for some of the fresh veggies that I have coming up for the first time, and the first veggie to ripen were sweet peas. Growing these was an absolute joy because they gave me my first sign of life growing in my garden. Seeing the flowers turn into pods heavy with peas in a matter of days was such a magical moment for me as a first-time gardener! As soon as I saw them getting ready, my mind was racing with ideas, and I settled on one of my favorite vehicles for fresh ingredients: a pasta recipe.
Pasta is one of those dishes that can do no wrong. Starch is a beautiful foundation block on which you can build with flavors. Whether it’s toast, rice, or pasta, grain is the gift that keeps on giving. So when I developed this pasta recipe, I knew I was starting with a good foundation. My original idea was to keep it simple with peas and cream to let the peas really shine through but then I thought – what is pasta recipe without garlic?? So I threw a handful in and called it a day. This is essentially a simple alfredo with the addition of peas. Which is great, because you know what you can’t find anymore? ALFREDO. Seriously people, what is up with the ‘fredo? This pandemic is causing the weirdest shortages and every week brings new challenges. What I love and appreciate about that is that it shows the cracks in the fragile food system, and the need to know basic things like how to make your own alfredo. Have I done it a lot in the past? No, because a jar that comes from who knows where is so much easier to grab and dump in a pot! But now, I HAVE to make my own from scratch if I want it, and it’s SO EASY and so much more flavorful! I love the idea that I’ll exit this pandemic more resourceful and self-reliant than I entered it, and I hope you will too.
This sauce is so easy that there is one KEY thing to keep in mind: Buy. Good. Parm. Parmesan with a capital “P.” Parmesan from Italy. Parmesan that is found in the deli or cheese shop section of your local grocery store. NOT the Parmesan-like powder found in the dry goods aisle next to the pasta sauce. I’m sure you’ve heard all of the news stories about the additives that prevent clumping. Not only that, but it won’t melt into the sauce. If you try to go cheap on this, it WILL fail. Love yourself enough to get good, quality ingredients that are going to love you as much as you love them. So remember: Real Parm. Always.
If you don’t have fresh peas (as the season has passed for them, sadly – this recipe is a rewrite due to technical issues that deleted the old post), frozen is just fine. You’ll want to defrost them first, as anyone who has put frozen things into hot fat can attest to. I definitely have not almost set an apartment kitchen on fire by throwing a frozen chicken breast into hot oil. It definitely wasn’t while I was developing this recipe. Definitely not.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe designed to enjoy my favorite vegetable! What is your favorite way to enjoy peas? What other recipes would you like to see? I have a lot of plans for future content and hope to be updating this blog a lot more regularly, so I hope you’ll join me on this cooking journey. My goal is to help you love being in the kitchen so you can love the food that you’re eating. I’ll see you for one more rewrite later this week (thanks, tech issues) before we launch into the brand new content. Until then, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living!
Reginelle con Parmigiana e Piselle
- 8 oz long pasta (reginelle preferred, but linguine is a good substitute)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic (minced; 1tsp)
- 1/2 cup fresh peas (70 g; if using frozen, defrost first)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- pinch black pepper
- Fill a large saucepan with water for the pasta and set to boil. Add plenty of salt (well-salted pasta water is the secret to life). When the water boils, add the pasta and cook to package instructions (mine was for about 6 minutes).
- While the water boils, melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add the peas and cook about 3-5 minutes more, until tender. Add the cheese, heavy cream, and black pepper, and stir to combine until the cheese is melted. Let thicken slightly, then turn to low to keep warm until your pasta is done.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, remove from the water with tongs and transfer the noodles to the skillet or pot that contains the sauce. Toss the sauce with the noodles, adding a small amount of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. If it is too thin, add more cheese to thicken it. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
- It’s important to note that fresh Parmesan is needed for this recipe. If it comes in the deli/cheese department in block or pre-grated form, great. If it comes in a shaker bottle next to the pasta sauce aisle, bad. That doesn’t deserve to call itself cheese and it better not come anywhere near this recipe! (This isn’t just me being high and mighty, it really won’t melt into the sauce. Trust me.)