So far, this season is turning out to be quite pea pleasing. We grew three varieties and they all came up gangbusters. One of the favored side dishes from our kitchen is a saute of sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and basil. Lots of sweet veggie crunch to a dish like this and it leaves you with the taste of summer in your mouth.
Playing with the original side dish, a burst of fresh garden inspiration occurred to me. Here is my recipe for a quick, from the veggie patch pasta dinner. Assembled, you see cherry tomatoes, a mixture of fresh peas (use what ever you have available), chopped garlic (2 big cloves), salt, pepper,sugar, white wine, olive oil, spaghetti, and if you have it, Buttermilk Blue cheese. For the assembly of the dish, start by boiling the pasta water, add the spaghetti and when al dente, set aside. Take out a nice big saute pan and over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic gets barely tan, add the peas. Give them a minute or two to caramelize, then add the cherry tomatoes.
When the tomatoes start to split add a tsp of salt, tsp of pepper and 1/2 tsp of sugar. The sugar helps to caramelize the vegetables and round out the flavors. Keep the saute going for another minute or two then add 1/4 cup white wine to de-glaze the pan. Add the cooked spaghetti and mix it all together. To guild this lily, crumble in about 1/4 cup of the blue cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and serve in big pasta bowls.
The dish tastes slightly creamy, a little salty, sweet from the tomatoes, and soul satisfying. The crunch from the sugar snaps adds texture and keeps the dish from feeling mushy. Parmesan cheese would, of course be a fine substitute for the blue cheese. So, what is growing in your garden? And, more to the point, how are you preparing the produce?