The recipe for stewed peas pasta allows you to get a luxurious savory dish.

Spaghetti with stewed peas

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4 to 5

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4 to 5

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It has become so ingrained in me to boil peas minimally until they are bright green and tender that it seemed almost taboo to let them simmer for so long after this point when I first tasted them. But I stayed on this path because I knew what it took to capture the essence of the dishes I enjoyed in Italy when I visited a few years ago during peak pea season.

These 7 Recipes Showcase the Best Spring Peas

Yes, sometimes bright green peas appeared in the dishes I ate there, but I was amazed that in the houses and trattorias I visited, it was the norm to cook a vegetable until it was ultra soft and olive green. until it starts to break down and develop. deeper sweetness with a strong zesty dimension. Cooking the peas this way gave it more appeal, much like how vegetables are “choked” in American Southern cuisine. Their taste reminded me of how my mother served boiled peas when I was growing up, for which I am guilty of chiding her for being old-fashioned. (Sorry Mom.) It took this trip to Italy to realize that I really love them the old way.

In this dish, peas (fresh or frozen) are boiled in broth with sautéed onions and whole crushed garlic cloves until the vegetable is very soft and a deeper shade of green. When a spoon crushes them a little during cooking, they gradually turn into a luxuriously savory pea pasta sauce. Once the garlic has cooked in the sauce and released enough of its flavor, I like to pluck it out to use later in dressings or spread on toast. But if you want the sauce to be more garlicky, feel free to add cloves to it. Add slightly undercooked pasta – I use whole grain but plain will do – to the skillet with a dash of starchy water to dilute the sauce, and toss everything in the skillet until the pasta is al dente and well coated.

Served with ribbons of basil and a dash of spicy pecorino romano (or parmesan if you prefer), this delicious spring dish will open your eyes to a new way of cooking peas that has been used for generations.

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  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large sweet onion (6 oz total), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 lb peeled tender fresh peas or frozen peas (3 3/4 cups; no need to thaw if frozen)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces spaghetti, preferably whole grain
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season to taste with salt, if desired.

In a large skillet with high sides over medium-low heat, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmery. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and slightly golden but not brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add peas, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and crushing the peas as you stir, to thicken the broth until the peas are very soft and have settled a little and are a darker shade of green, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and reserve for another use, such as adding to dressings or spreading on bread.

When the peas are cooked for 15 minutes, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than indicated on the package. Reserve about 1 cup water for the pasta, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the peas. (If the peas are ready before the pasta, remove them from the heat and set aside until the pasta is done.)

Increase the heat under the skillet to medium and, using tongs, toss the pasta with the peas to combine. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and enough pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.

Divide among shallow plates, sprinkle each plate with cheese and basil, season with salt and/or pepper if desired, and serve.

Per serving (1 1/2 cups), based on 5

Calories: 480; Total fat: 17 g; Saturated fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 4 mg; Sodium: 493 mg; Carbohydrates: 69 g; Dietary fiber: 13 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 16 g

This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and the given product. It should not replace the advice of a nutritionist or nutritionist.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massova; questions by email voraciously@washpost.com.

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