Cook this at home: Green pea and ricotta spread
The seasonal ingredient: Fresh green peas
For green peas puree
8 T. fresh green peas
4 t. pecorino
1 t. garlic
1 t. mint
3 T. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 t. salt
Pepper to taste
14 T. ricotta
4 t. grated Parmigiano
2 t. EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
Green peas puree:
1. Cook the green peas in salt water and allow to boil for 5 minutes. As soon as they come out, place in ice water. This will help the peas keep their green color.
2. Chop the mint and leave to the side. In a blender, incorporate all the ingredients except the mint. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper. Once you have adjusted the taste, fold in the mint.
1. In a mixer add all the ingredients together until fully blended.
2. Garnish with 3 t. of blanched green peas and a little EVOO and serve with crostini.
Summer is here and that means fresh produce galore. But before we get tomatoes, basil, eggplants and cucumbers, we get a few early crops, from radishes to beets. But our favorite is the pea — the delicious and versatile pea.
Peas are thought of, and treated in kitchens as, vegetables, but are actually fruit, because they grow as seeds inside a pod. But peas are also grain-like: very starchy and filling.
At Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina in Chelsea Market, seasonal peas are given star treatment and appear on the menu multiple times. We liked the simple pea and ricotta spread, served with house-made crostini, the best.
Green peas are high in fiber, which is something Americans don’t get enough of in their diets. That’s why you see so many cereals and granola bars boasting “high fiber!” in the grocery store.
Consuming peas when in season can help you naturally increase your intake of fiber, which aids proper digestion and is important for weight loss.
They are also high in vitamins and minerals, especially B-complex, which play a vital role in metabolism, K-1, recommended for healthy bones and Vitamin-C, an antioxidant.
This recipe was created by Antonella Rana, and it’s a family favorite. Antonella consults in the kitchen at Rana and teaches the restaurant’s weekly pasta making classes. The family owned and operated Giovanni Rana company has been making gourmet pasta for more than 50 years.