Friday, July 22, 2011

Rotini with Fresh Pea Sauce, Lemon and Mint

Fresh peas are time consuming and a labor of love but worth it during the small period of time during the year they are available. If I had a porch, I might sit on it and shell peas, drinking watermelon lemonade and gossiping with friends. Unfortuanatly, I don't have a porch and none of my friends eat dinner as early as I tend too so I usually stick my husband with the dirty work. Don't worry, I make up for it all by still drinking lemonade at a moments notice.
Frozen green peas are of course substitutable in this recipe and still result in a great tasting sauce, which I might also add would also make a wonderfully light, fresh soup on a summer night.

Bright green peas, shallots, lemon and torn mint leaves quickly simmered then pureed until creamy and smooth, tossed over pasta with vegan sausage.

Fresh Pea Sauce with Lemon and Mint
enough sauce for two
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 Field Roast Italian Style Sausages, sliced
1 shallot, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbl plus 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1lb shelled green peas (or frozen)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tsp lemon zest, plus more for garnish
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups rotini pasta

In a medium sized pot, heat the oil and saute the sausage until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and add the shallots and garlic to the oil. Saute over medium until soft and fragrant. Add 2 tbl vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, scraping any bits off the bottom. Add the peas and cook for 4 minutes. If using frozen peas, cook until they have thawed, 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 4 mint leaves and 1 tsp lemon zest.
Transfer to a blend and process until smooth with 3/4 cup vegetable broth. Strain the sauce to remove any chunks and transfer back to the pot. Heat over medium for 5 minutes and season with red pepper flakes and more salt and pepper to taste.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Toss half of the sauce with the pasta and pour the remaining over top. Serve with the sausage and garnish with lemon and torn mint leaves.

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