This Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe makes the perfect early summer dish to celebrate the arrival of peas in gardens and markets everywhere. If you haven’t already, go get yourself a bag and start shelling…
Summer Time is Shelling Time
Shelling peas is the ultimate nostalgic early summer meal task. One usually done with grandma on the back porch, near a sleeping dog and a cold glass of lemonade. When I was younger, I ate more peas than I shelled but as I got older, I found a strange pride in keeping sampling to a minimum. This iron will was applied to any kind of picking, but was especially difficult during berry season. I guess I just realized that the ingredient that I was preparing/picking would eventually become part of something greater.
Give Peas a Chance
In the case of fresh peas, ‘something greater’ was enough creamed peas to feed at least ten people. This included all the hungry men coming in from a long day of farming. That first feed of peas was something everyone looked forward to. I felt honour and pride when I placed the bowl of creamed peas on the table. It was the first bowl to be passed around (clockwise direction only please!) and the first bowl to be emptied.
The planting, weeding, and harvesting was through my grandma’s hard work, but she was kind enough to share her glory with eight year old me. Funny, I was just thinking I don’t know how to make creamed peas like grandma used to. I’ll have to get the recipe from her very soon, if there is a recipe!
Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Inspiration
Today I don’t have a garden large enough to grow enough peas to feed my family. In order to have a decent ‘pea feed’ buy a large bag of fresh peas at the farmer’s market. It doesn’t take very long to shell them for my small bunch and it certainly brings back those memories. This Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta is our favourite way to eat fresh peas.Basil and fresh peas are such a delicious combination…one worth exploring over and over again. I like to use orecchiette because it holds the pesto quite well and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a pea stuck inside the pasta shell too.
Pin Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe HERE.
Other Delicious Green Posts from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
- 3 cups freshly shelled peas
- 1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts; lightly toasted
- 1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 3 tbsp cream
- tender pea shoots for garnish
- 1 package orecciette pasta cooked according to package directions
- While the pasta is cooking; add 2 cups of the peas (reserve 1 cup), nuts, cheese, basil, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender.
- Blend together, then drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil while still blending.
- Transfer to a small pot, add the rest of the peas and gently heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add some cream to thin it out a bit.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
- Add peas and pesto to the pot of pasta and gently toss to combine.
- Garnish with pea shoots and slivers of Parmesan Reggiano.