CLASSIC pasta spaghetti with fresh peas, mint and goat cheese








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After a few temporary personal setbacks medical-wise, we found that getting back to cooking pasta was one of the world's best therapies. This is a recipe we discovered, a bit unusual, but making use of the wonderful summer ingredients that were available to us during recovery time.

We are indebted to Michael Bauer of the  San Francisco Chronicle, who gathered this recipe from Evan and Sarah Rich, proprietors of the wonderful eponymous restaurant of theirs in San Francisco: The Rich Table

for the sauce:

  • one-half cup fresh English peas
  • one quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
  • one garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • a small bunch - a dozen leaves or so -- fresh mint, chopped
  • zest and juice of one lime (separate the zest and juice)
  • four ounces of goat cheese, roughly chopped and at room temperature
  • one-half cup vegetable stock
  • salt
  • two tablespoons unsalted butter

for the pasta:

  • one-half pound (eight ounces) spaghetti

Bring the peas to a boil in a small pot of salted water. Cook for two minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

In a saute pan large enough to hold the spaghetti, heat the olive oil, add the garlic and cook until the garlic just starts to sizzle.

Bring 4-5 quarts of cold water to a heavy boil. Add a couple tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta, stirring it well to get it separated and mixed. Cook to al dente. Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid. Then drain.

Add the spaghetti to the heated saute pan with the garlic and oil. Add the half cup of vegetable stock, a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Stir. Add the lime juice, the peas, and the crumbled goat cheese and mix well. Add from the reserved liquid if necessary to keep the sauce moist enough.

Cover the pan, turn up the heat to high, and cook over the heat for a minute or two. Add the butter, stir asgain, and toss with half the mint. Add some fresh ground pepper, taste for salt and moistness,

Serve and garnish with the lime zest and the remaining mint.


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