We are a big fan of peas in our family and I especially love fresh peas. They are packed with flavor and their brightness and sweetness are so inviting. Peas work particularly well in “Zeytinyaglis”,”Vegetables Cooked in Olive Oil” in Turkish Cuisine, like in this Baby Artichokes Poached in Olive Oil with Peas, Carrots and Almonds. Dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, they are not only very healthy but also very refreshing, a joy to eat during summer time and can be kept in fridge 2-3 days.
I was delighted to see some delicious recipes showcasing fresh peas by one of my favorite chefs & food writer Stevie Parle and our menu was set; Spaghetti with fresh peas, sun dried tomatoes and shrimp. Good tips from Stevie when buying fresh peas; look for pods that are silky-soft, shiny and green; the peas within will not have split yet and should be small, soft and sweet. When they are really good, you can put a bowl of them on the table and you’ll find folks munching away on them with a glass of wine or beer.
I added sun dried tomatoes that needed finishing to this recipe; their tangy and sweet flavor worked well with the peas and the garlicky shrimps. I also loved the refreshing lemon zest here and the fact that a freshly cooked delicious meal ready in less than 30 minutes.
Serves 3- 4 Preparation & Cooking time: 25- 30 minutes
200gr/7 oz. peas
30ml / 2 tbsp. sun dried tomatoes, cut in stripes
1-2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
180gr/ 6 ¼ oz. raw prawns, peeled
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon
250gr/ 8 ½ spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to serve – optional
Shell the peas and rinse well. Bring a pan of salted water to boil.
Stir in the olive oil in a small saucepan and gently fry the garlic until it just begins to color. Add the prawns and season with salt and a little pepper. Stir and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, then take the heat off and stir in the sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh peas to the boiling water and cook together for a further of 3-4 minutes, until the spaghetti is just cooked. Drain, reserving a little of the pasta water. Pour the shrimp mixture into the pasta and add a dash of cooking water. Mix everything well, check the seasoning then transfer to plates. You can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over and serve.