I had to go to the nearby town of Emmitsburg yesterday, and whenever I'm in that area, I always try and stop by the Catoctin Mountain Orchard. They have some of the best local produce around, and I picked up some great stuff yesterday, including a quart of fresh English peas.
I had wanted to make a pasta dish for some friends, and seeing the peas, I remembered I had a recipe for Pasta Piselli, a classic Italian favorite. This is a simple dish, and the ingredients are few: Fresh peas, tomatoes, herbs and onions. That's about it. If you can't find fresh peas, frozen are o.k. But try and find fresh.
1/2 lb. Penne Pasta (I used low carb Dreamfields)
1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup fresh English peas
8 oz diced tomatoes (1/2 can, including juice)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tb oregano, minced
3 tb olive oil
dash of crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Place tomatoes in a deep bowl. Using an immersion blender, pulse two or three times.
Heat a medium saucepan. Add olive oil. Saute onions and garlic for three or four minutes, or until golden. Add peas, tomatoes (with juice), crushed pepper, oregano and basil. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.
In another pan, heat water for pasta. When boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add to saucepan. Mix pasta into sauce. Add Parmesan cheese if desired.