Ever wondered if pea pods are any good for anything? Well, I asked friend, top chef and all round fab person Caitlin Ruth, and she said to blend them into a sauce. So I did…
I can’t take full credit for this recipe because the original idea did come from Caitlin, but there’s no denying that pea and ham go together like Covid and 2020. I would humbly ask though that you visit her website and follow her on her Instagram page where she is just brimming over with ideas, top tips and dreamy food pics! Show her some lurve!
So Cait gave me the tip on blitzing pea pods into a sauce, and I did the rest. It is quite a dairy heavy dish, but I’ll make no apologies for that because frankly a plate of pasta should feel luxurious in the mouth and taste bloody delicious!
I did tweak around with this a bit, (let’s face it, right now I have the fresh pea supplies to do that!), and I am really happy with the end result.
Just by the by, Caitlin also says that the version of her sauce, which you can find in her Instagram Highlights – look for the one where she is going through a veg box and handing out awesome suggestions like poker chips, is also good with fish and veggie pasta too.
- Peas and their pods: you’ll need a decent amount for this. Aim for around 250 – 350 g of peas in their pods.
- Herbs: frankly peas go with most herbs, so whatever you have hanging around. I used chives, coriander and oregano. Tarragon and parsley would also work very well with chives.
- Zest of a lemon, juice of half
- Dash water
- 150 ml fresh cream
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 130 g Gubbeen smoked bacon lardons (if you can’t find these, use a pack of streaky bacon or 3 excellent quality pork sausages, skinned and broken into pieces)
- Parmesan – lots and grated
- 25 g Gorgonzola
- Enough long pasta for 2 people – I recommend Bucatini pasta for this dish.
- Pod the peas. Set them aside, then de-string the pods.
- Place the pods in a blender/processor with herbs, lemon zest and juice and just a dash of water enough to get everything going. Blitz into a fine pulp.
- Over a bowl, drain the pulp through a fine mesh sieve and use a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the liquid.
- Clean out the blender, and add back in the liquid. To this, add cream, salt, pepper and a handful of the Parmesan cheese. Blitz to combine everything thoroughly. Pour out into a jug/bowl and set aside.
- Place a pan of salted water onto to boil, and heat a saute pan over a medium heat. Add a little oil to the pan and add the lardons. Cook slowly until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and place onto a sheet of kitchen towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. When the pasta is almost cooked but still a little al dente, add the peas and cook for 3 minutes or so, or until pasta and peas are both cooked.
- Drain the pasta and peas, retain some of the pasta water.
- Reheat the saute pan with the bacon fat over a medium heat. Add the pea pod sauce. Bring to the boil, add peas and pasta and toss to coat. Allow the sauce to thicken and coat the pasta. If it is too thick, add a little of the pasta water.
- Right at the end, add little dabs of Gorgonzola and toss the pan.
- Serve out onto hot plates, scatter with bacon lardons, a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, glug over a little EVO and a final flourish with the pepper grinder. Bellissimo!
Serve with a crisp leaf salad, and some bread to soak up any left over sauce. I found this was delicious with something very un-Italian, Stonewell Cider, red label.