Peas

Growing up we rarely had peas as my dad is not much of a fan. However, whenever there were peas served, he liked to note that he ate them despite them not being his favorite. This, of course, made my siblings and I roll our eyes. We weren't picky eaters by any means but none of us like beets or this weird cabbage dish appropriately called "Stuff", both of which my parents loved. We were a little whiny about it. So to set an example, Dad would announce how polite he was being every time he ate peas. Which was a good call because none of us would have noticed otherwise. To his credit, he doesn't do this anymore. In fact, my sister and I both made dishes with peas in them the last time he and Mom were out here and he made a point of saying how much he wanted to try it WITH the peas and was not only game but very complementary.

Shaughn loves peas. They are easily one of his favorites so we grow quite a few in our garden. But every time I pick them, I can't help but think of Dad saying, "You know kids, peas really aren't my favorite. But you're mother made them, and they are part of our supper so I'm going to eat them." Us kids looking up like, "What? Oh. That's nice, Dad."

A few years ago, Shaughn bought me a pasta maker. Initially it felt like he had just got me a vacuum cleaner or something else boringly domestic. But fresh pasta is a amazing. It's not that hard to make, and having a pasta roller is so nice. Especially because Shaughn has taken over both making and rolling out the pasta--which truly feels like a birthday present (I mean seriously, at first I was like, "oh a pasta maker...so I can make you pasta?"). Looking at a bowl of peas we had picked I remembered this wonderful little Italian restaurant called Rialto that has since closed. One of the most memorable dinners I had there with Shaughn was Pasta Carbonara. It was the special one night and I ordered it because it sounded so classically Italian. When Shaughn told me it had raw egg as part of the sauce I was a little nervous. I felt like Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights ordering rare squab. But it was an incredible dish. So we made our own with fresh pasta, peas from the garden and sweet Italian sausage instead of pancetta.


Pasta Carbonara
1 lb fresh pasta (cut however you like it)
1 C fresh shelled peas
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (sub pancetta)
1/2 dry white wine
3 eggs
1 C Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
2 T chopped parsley

In large pot heat salted water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta and add peas for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water (I keep my measuring cup in the colander so I don't forget). 

As you're bringing the water to boil/cooking the pasta and peas, cook sausage in a skillet (if using chicken sausage, add 1 T olive oil) until brown and cooked through. Add wine and reduce for 3-4 min. 

In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, and parsley. 

When draining the pasta and peas let some liquid cling to the noodles. Add the pasta and peas to the bowl of eggs and toss and coat until the sauce is thickened. Add some pasta water if sauce is too thick or not fully coating the pasta. Add the sausage and serve with more Parm sprinkled on top. 

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