Sunday 24 August 2014

Pasta Soup with Peas from 'The Art of Pasta' by Lucio Galletto & David Dale.

If you haven't worked it out by now ... I LOVE pasta. I've always thought I should have been born an Italian but no... born in Australia with a Swiss dad and an English mother. No Italian in me that I know of but I absolutely LOVE italian food. I eat alot of pasta... its quick to cook, a base for so many sauces and flavours and it comes in so many exciting shapes. Yes I get totally excited when I get to buy a new shape pasta each week! This Wednesday its was elbow shaped pasta. The recipe called for tubetti or ditalini but in the recipe photo it looks to me like elbow pasta. So I went with elbow pasta. They say you can use broken spaghetti for the recipe I chose or any miss-match broken pasta you may have in the bottom of your pasta jar.

Being still so chilly here I thought of making a pasta soup. Having a limited budget this week and also being a Wednesday, I finish work late, I needed a recipe that was quick and comforting. I went to a book that I often take off the shelf and flick through the pages, looking longingly at the food wishing I was having that for dinner. It's also a very beautiful book, a good coffee table book for a foodie. It's 'The Art of Pasta' by Lucio Galletto & David Dale. My copy is loosing the new book smell and not looking as pristine as it was when it first arrived home because I keep taking it out and admiring the photography and how delicious the recipes sound.
Pasta Soup with Peas from The Art of Pasta cookbook

Feeling like a soup I went to the 'Soups and Broths' chapter and it was like my prayers had been answered with the recipe 'Pasta soup with Peas'. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. Quick, not expensive, comforting and warm. BINGO! It's a bit like a one pan pasta because you cook the dried pasta in the broth which ends up being the soup part of the meal. Which is great for the washing up... only one pot!
Pasta Soup with Peas from The Art of Pasta cookbook

And it fulfils my love of frozen peas. I never ever thought I would say that. As a kid I hated peas. I didn't really hate much but peas were one of them and I hated them with a passion. The only time I had to eat them was a Ballet camp. Ballet camp was at an old boarding school in a small rural town in NSW run by nuns. It had a rule that everyone had to have a little bit of everything on their plate even if you didn't like it, but you still had to have the smallest serving of it. You also had to finish your entire plate of food and weren't allowed to waste, including dessert (which was never a problem for me). Lunch time meals were a fully fledged roast with the best roast potatoes I've ever eaten in my entire life along with meat and two veg. Every second day the veg was peas. I tried everything to escape eating them. I used to try knock them on the floor, hid them in a serviette or in my pockets... I even used to try swallow them hole but it was hard if everyone at your table had drunk all the water. I don't remember the specific moment when I suddenly started eating them but now I absolutely love them. Sweet and juicy and they can go with so many things. Such a handy thing to have in your freezer as a store cupboard staple and a versatile ingredient to add as an extra vegetable in something or into a salad or smashed with feta and mint or as the main attraction in the dish. So yummy! Pea's were defiantly the stand out ingredient in this pasta and everything went with it so well.
Pasta Soup with Peas from The Art of Pasta cookbook

Pasta Soup with Peas from 'The Art of Pasta' by Lucio Galletto & David Dale.

serves 4 
(recipe adapted slightly in regards to cooking times)

90ml extra virgin olive oil
25g butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
70g pancetta (I used streaky bacon)
400g fresh or frozen peas (I used frozen, of course!)
sea salt and black pepper
200g tubetti, ditalini or broken spaghetti (I used elbows)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
80g freshly grated parmesan
1 litre of water or stock (I used half and half)

- Place oil and butter into a large pot (big enough to fit all your ingredients) and heat until butter is melted. Add your onion and pancetta (or bacon) and fry until onions are soft, about 6 minutes.

- Add the peas, some salt and pepper and stir everything together and cook for a couple of minutes.

- Add your water or stock and bring everything to a boil, cook peas for a few minutes. Add the pasta and cook for the indicated time on the packet (mine was about 8 minutes). Stir every now and then to make sure the pasta doesn't sink to the bottom and stick.

- Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the parsley and top with parmesan cheese to serve. YUM YUM YUM.

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