There is something special about using fresh peas straight out of the pod. This recipe was inspired by our root-to-stem philosophy of cooking: It always seems like such a waste to throw away the pea pods, but they are relatively inedible. To make use of the pods, we’ve pureed them into a spring-fresh pasta sauce. Remember: Pasta for breakfast is a great choice, especially when it’s loaded with healthful pea protein.
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1 pound fresh English peas in pods (yields about 1 cup shelled peas and about 3 ½ cups pods)
½ cup water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small spring onions or 2 large shallots, chopped
2 small spring garlic (whites) or 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (optional)
12 ounces whole grain pasta, such as linguine, rigatoni or small shells
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh mint (peppermint preferred), thinly sliced
Espelette pepper to taste (optional)
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add enough salt to make it salty like the sea.
- Meanwhile, wash the peas. Pull off the stem ends: remove the peas and place in a small bowl. Reserve the pods.
- Fill a bowl with cold water. Set aside. Add the empty pea pods to the pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the pods from the boiling water and transfer to the bowl of cold water to cool quickly. Drain the pea pods and add to a Vitamix or high-speed blender. Add ½ cup water. Puree for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place a fine strainer over a bowl and add the pea pod puree to the strainer, pressing on the solids to release as much puree as possible into the bowl. Discard the solids in the strainer. Reserve the puree in the bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in the pot of boiling water until al dente, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved pea pod puree and Greek yogurt, if using, and cook just until heated through. (Don’t overcook the peas or puree as the sauce will turn brown).
- Using tongs or a spider, transfer the pasta to the sauce in the skillet. Toss until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to the serving bowl. Add the basil and mint. Serve with Espelette pepper and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, if using.
Nutritional info (per serving)
Makes 4 servings.
Calories: 554 kcal
Total fiber: 12 g
Soluble fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 15.5 g
Total fat: 16.7 g
Saturated fat: 2.0 g
Healthy fats: 12.1 g
Carbohydrates: 84 g
Sugars: 7.7 g
Added sugars: 0 g
Sodium: 178 mg
Potassium: 433 mg
Magnesium: 14 mg
Calcium: 134 mg
Source: The What to Eat When Cookbook by Michael F. Roizen, MD, Michael Crupain, MD, MPH and Jim Perko, Sr, CEC, AAC.