An Easy Summer Dinner…..Pasta with Peas, Morels, and Parmesan

pastaYesterday morning I saw a recipe in the New York Times that really got my attention. Very few ingredients, seemed quick and easy, and sounded delicious. Sometimes I see recipes and food ideas, think they look great, store them in my iWork, then forget them. But this time I headed to Whole Foods, got the peas, mushrooms, pasta, and parmesan and last night I gave it a go. Fred and I both agreed that it was one of the most perfect pasta dishes we’d had. I found a container of fresh gluten-free fusilli (RP’s Pasta Company) and I highly recommend it. I’m sure you could use any mushroom here, but I think it needs to be a wild one, and it is nice for the color of the mushroom to be dark to add depth to this simple dish. I think I used about 1 and 1/2 times as many mushrooms as the recipe calls for. I used frozen peas that I microwaved with a little water for 2 minutes. The recipe calls for lots of parmesan, and don’t hold back on the cheese. I bought a really good imported one, but I did go for already grated because one of the beauties of this dish is how fast and easy it is to make. For the same reason, I would just go with the frozen peas. So, here you go. Thanks, New York Times. I love your food section.

One note about this recipe….it serves two hungry people. So, if you are cooking for more, multiply accordingly.

Pasta with Peas, Morels, and Parmesan

Salt and ground black pepper

1⁄2 cup fresh shelled peas

4 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 pound morels, about 8 medium
8 ounces pasta
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
Bring to a boil 2 pots of water, one small and one large, and salt both. Cook the peas for 1 minute in the small pot; drain and cool quickly by submerging in ice water.
Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a skillet. Cut the morels into 4 pieces each, the long way, and brown them lightly in the butter, seasoning them with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta until it is nearly done. Just before draining, toss the peas and remaining butter with the morels and turn the heat to medium. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the morels and peas, adding a little water if necessary to make the mixture saucy. Toss with the Parmesan and lots of black pepper and serve immediately.

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