Gemelli Pasta with Shelled Peas, Lemon & Mint

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, this light and lovely pasta recipe sings of spring.

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh gemelli pasta
2 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 1 lb. in the pod)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together.

2. Dry out the pasta pot, and pour in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with black pepper, add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add ¾ cup Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth; then toss in the drained pasta & peas.

3. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen up the sauce. Garnish with remaining Parmesan, chopped parsley and mint and serve immediately.

Chilled Pea Soup

Cooking the peas briefly retains their vibrant color, while the addition of fresh herbs keeps the finished soup tasting bright.

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
6 cups shelled fresh peas
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream or water
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Chopped fresh chives (for serving)

Method:
1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, and remaining 2 cups broth to pot. Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with water if soup is too thick, until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

3. Whisk crème fraîche and cream in a small bowl to blend. Serve chilled soup topped with chives, passing crème fraîche mixture alongside for spooning over.

Scrambled Eggs with Spring Onions

Punched up with bright spring onions, these scrambled eggs are divine.

Ingredients:
8 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
½ cup chopped spring onions
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly-chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spring onions and leeks and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minute, until both are softened and fragrant.

2. Crack eggs and break over a shallow bowl. Break yolks with a whisk or fork, then whisk together with the milk, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Add eggs to the frying pan and mix with the onions and leeks.

3. Cook, stirring occasionally until eggs are set and no longer runny. Gently mix in the freshly-chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Scrambled Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms

Earthy mushrooms and fragrant garlic elevate farmstead eggs in this stunning scramble.

Ingredients:
6-8 eggs
1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup milk or cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in the garlic and sauté until softened and tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add in sliced mushrooms and briefly sauté until mushrooms are golden brown, then season generously with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, crack eggs and break over a shallow bowl. Break yolks with a whisk or fork, then add cream and mix together vigorously. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add eggs to skillet and stir, cooking until eggs are just set, tossing to mix with vegetables. Top with fresh parsley to serve.

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