peas, pasta and parma


most of the time when i cook it’s about drawing on previous things i’ve cooked, read about or tasted and creating my version of something new. but then there are the times when i’m drawn to recipes and following the paths that other people have created and seeing where they lead me. this is the place i’m in at the moment.

every time i get a spare moment and am musing about the food (the two are closely correlated!) i am drawn to recipes in books, magazines, newspapers and online. and when i get the time to cook it’s the piles of recipes that i’ve gathered that call to me.

tonight’s supper was based on a recipe by angela hartnett and is from her cucina, three generations of italian family cooking.

the recipe created a delicious, comforting supper of pasta, peas and parma ham, with the flavours of aged italian cheese and fresh zingy mint to balance it out. i’m not sure how this recipe will inspire future dishes but i’m sure i’ll draw on it at some point…

this dish is my contribution to presto pasta nights, as hosted by ruth at once upon a feast.

linguine with peas and parma ham* (serves 2)

linguine for two

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

100g frozen peas, blanched in boiled water for 5 minutes

6 slices parma ham, torn into pieces

1 tablespoon ubriaco cheese (or you can use parmesan), in rough shavings

1 tablespoon fresh mint, roughly chopped

cook the linguine. meanwhile heat the olive oil and cook the garlic over a low heat until it starts to turn golden. add the peas, mix well and turn the heat off, leaving the flavours to infuse.

when the pasta is ready, drain it and mix with the peas. add the mint. split the pasta between two plates, scatter the cheese over and top with the pieces of parma ham. serve.

* based on an angela hartnett recipe; angela suggests replacing the parma ham with soft goats cheese if you want to make a vegetarian version