Spring Fusilli with Peas

Spring Fusilli with Peas

What to do after a couple of weeks of eating out too much and a long Saturday?  As a rule, I generally don’t cook on Fridays or Saturdays to give myself some time off to recuperate.  And also, I’m looking to eat out, read, and get some ideas for my weeknight cooking.  But frankly, I’d had enough of other people’s cooking tonight.  I’ve been out of town twice in two weeks and have done no real grocery shopping to speak of.  June is half over, and I still feel like it’s May.  Anyway, I digress.  A morning of tending the garden, lunch out, a trip to South Carolina to buy fireworks – they left me tired and wanting to spend some time at home.  So, tonight I tried to divine what on earth I could possibly whip up out of my desolate kitchen.  This recipe uses what I put together after searching my cabinets.  

Spring Fusilli with Peas


  • 1/2 pound fusilli
  • 4-5 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh herbs
  • 1/2 C green peas
  • 1/2 C bread crumbs
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • juice of one lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook fusilli according to package directions; make sure to reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Toast the bread crumbs and pine nuts in a dry pan over high heat.  When they start to take on color, remove from the heat and set aside in a bowl.  In the same pan, add the garlic and red pepper and saute for about 2 minutes.  Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the pan.  Add the peas and the pasta cooking water (one good ladleful will do).  Simmer until peas are cooked.  Then add the herbs and simmer for about 1 minute more.  Dress the pasta with the sauce, then toss the mixture with the bread crumbs and pine nuts.  Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the pasta, salt and pepper it to taste, and serve with parmesan cheese for sprinkling.  
Serves 2, delightfully.
Note: for fresh herbs, I used mostly oregano with a good bit of basil and some parsley.  Marjoram or chervil would be great, too.  Also, the addition of asparagus, pearl onions, or a handful of good olives wouldn’t hurt a thing.  

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