Skip to main content

Macaroni and Farmstand Peas

Podcast Recipe Episode 2
Macaroni and Peas
Episode 2 Recipe
My affair with peas, fresh pea soup and mac and peas.
The first days of summer is around the corner and the local veggies are just starting to pop. It has been a slow start this year here in the Hud-Val. Though we have have a few hot days, the chilly weather has lingered a little longer than usual. But now, past mid june, the early pop of peas and strawberries are upon us. It’s time to get to work.

 

Peas are an interesting early crop. The can be so delicious when fresh, but are bland and starchy if handled incorrectly. The trick with peas is to use them as soon as you can. As soon as they are picked from the plant, they begin the process of turning the natural sugars into starches. So if you get peas from the farmers market and you want them to be magically sweet, process them right away.

 

I have learned my lesson. Too often I would buy a big bag of fresh peas from the farm stand, bring them home and throw them in the fridge.  Two or three days later I would deal with them.. The results were always chalky and bland, So there is no time to waste. Pick em, shell em and cook em, or blanch them for one minute, shock them in ice water and then freeze them.

 

Oh yea, then you have frozen peas! Well, that ain’t so bad. Most frozen peas are always sweet because they are processed and frozen within 12 hours of picking. And--they are great in recipes, especially quick pastas and rice dishes.
So don’t DAWDLE. Eat em of freeze em the day you buy them!

 

My absolute FAVORITE dish when I was a kid was
Macaroni and Peas.
It was my mom’s go to dish to fill me up on a busy school night.
Elbow macaroni with sweet peas, butter, Parmigiana and black pepper. Nothing else. It is so simple and so perfect. In an Italian home, this was our version of mac’n’cheese. But better, way better.

 

Bring your salted water to a boil.
Serves 4
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 cups fresh shelled peas.
Half a stick unsalted butter (2 oz)
¼ cup grated Parmigiana cheese, or sardo, or Sonoma jack ( nothing processed please!)
Plus more on the table
Black pepper to taste, push it!

 

Drop the elbows in amply salted water to cook.  
When they are about almost ready add the peas. When the pasta is done, remove it from the pot with a spider to a large serving bowl.
Add about 2 oz of the pasta water and the butter.
Stir. Now add the cheese and about 6 twists of the peppermill.
Stir and serve hot.
Hit it with fresh grinds of black pepper and more cheese as you go.

 

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ric Orlando's Vegetarian Eggplant Balls (Standard and Gluten Free Versions)

Ric Orlando's Vegetarian Eggplant Balls (Standard and Gluten Free Versions)
Wow. These eggplant balls were chosen to represent the Berkshire/Hudson/Capital/Central NY area in the US Foods Next Top Product contest!

They are very old school, much the same as my mother's–and her mother's–bready Neapolitan meatballs. Braise them in simple red sauce with pasta, make a sub with lots of mozz, slice them onto pizza or salad, served with tzatziki...the possibilities are endless!

(Oh yes, and want them gluten free? We got you! Just use Gluten Free Crumbs)

Makes about 24 delectable eggplant balls

2 tablespoons salt
4 large eggplants , peeled, stem removed,  and cut into quarters lengthwise
2 cups panko bread crumbs or more if needed
2 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Pecorino romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
2 tsp dry oregano
pinch crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup sunflower or other neutral flavoredvegetable oil.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a…

A Fine Corned Beef done correctly...in a bit of a brogue

Here is MY fine recipe in detail for cooking corned beef and cabbage---

Aye, As told by me to you, with hopes that you will tell your best version of this tale again to be carried on for as long as it can travel---

I. SELECTING THE MEAT
Buy a nice slab o' brisket or ready corned beef brisket form a butcher of fine repute and deriving from a cow also of fine repute.
And mark my words, Brisket means brisket here--the bottom round and other "corned beef cuts" are as counterfeit as the Queen's crown---
and nice meaning not too trimmed, retaining both the "flat" and the “nose". Make sure it has enough fat between the layers. A finger’s worth is right. Less and you will have a dry brisket. The fat is as important here as it is to a young lass seeking her prince. A little bit o’ fat will maintain the experience tender, and as she grows older, she will still be something to be desired. I am referring to that fine brisket here, now keep your devilish…

Ric Orlando's Latkes that Beat Bobby Flay!!!!!

Here they are! Ric Orlando's Luscious Latkes featured on BEAT BOBBY FLAY!!! And they WON!!

Potato Latkes, or Ashkenazi style potato pancakes, are a staple in most Jewish American households. So, this Italian chef is going to teach you how to make these amazing latkes! Got a problem with dat?I have had many a latke that has all of the traditional flavors of the classic, but were either too greasy, too rubbery or just flat. Tradition can use some technical assistance sometimes and here is my shot at it.

One of my secrets in grating the potatoes two ways.The classic regular box-grated potatoes give you the creaminess and the French style “mandolined” potatoes add a lacy, crisp componentthat makes them addictive. Also, check out the tossing technique and the incorporation of the potato liquid…read on cynics…! 
Makes 12 nice-sized latkes

8 medium-large russet potatoes, peeled 1-2 medium onions, peeled 2 tablespoons horseradish 3 eggs about ¾ cup cornstarch or potato starch as needed (for glut…