March 20th marked the first day of Spring in the US (the 21st in Italy) and with the passing of the winter season comes renewed food ambitions. Our Penne with Peas, Onions, and Pecorino Romano is an ode to Spring and your waiting taste-buds.
In our view, peas have two food soul-mates; that is, fish and pasta. On the pasta pairing we can’t help but adore Spring peas with penne, sweet red onions, and tangy Pecorino Romano. Our Pecorino hails from the undisputed sheep cheese capital of Italy; viz., Calabria and made locally on our family farm. If you don’t have access to fresh, early, Spring peas then the frozen variety will do in a pinch or better yet buy a can of Le Sueur early peas grown in Minnesota (they’re terrific in pasta or stews).
Finally, the extra virgin olive oil we used was produced in the area of Chiaramonte Gulfi, north of Ragusa in southern Sicily: Primo DOP, Frantoi Cutrera Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2013. The bitter and spicy elements of the oil contrasted nicely with the sweet peas and red onion. Find a crisp white wine to pair with this pasta dish.
- ½ pound of Penne
- 2 cups of early young Spring peas
- 1 red onions (cut length wise)
- ¼ cup of grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3-4 clove of garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black peppper
- In a large pan, add extra virgin olive oil and saute the garlic and onions over medium heat. Add salt and pepper and cook down for 5-10 minutes. Add half the chopped parsley and stir. Add the peas and a bit of hot pasta water. Stir well and turn heat to low.
- Add cooked pasta and stir well with remaining parsley. Add some grated cheese and stir again, add a bit more extra virgin olive if necessary.