Friday, 5 February 2016

The Pasta's Always Greener...

Pasta con Piselli, Patate, Salvia & Ricotta Salata
Pasta with Peas, Potatoes, Sage & Salted Ricotta

Another simple dish- so typically Sicilian and probably enjoyed all over Italy- and one that has been a favorite ever since the great depression- which is when dishes like this were first invented.

And do you want to know the best part about it? If you are ever feeling low- this is the kind of dish to cheer you up with its simple goodness... it is a great, edible anti-depressant!

Back in the old days, after the war, when people like my grandparents were poor and hungry, people had to learn to make the few simple things they could afford go as far as possible. A can of peas was always inexpensive and close at hand, an onion added a bit of sweetness and a potato to make things more substantial... that what people used to add to their pasta to try to make a satisfying peal for themselves. And by golly- it also tasted pretty fantastic!

I added a few extras to my pasta dish this evening and I also used fresh peas instead of canned... but it still cost next to nothing to make! I needed a couple of handfuls of peas, 1 small onion, 1 small potato, a little fresh sage, olive oil, pepper, salt, nutmeg and a little salted ricotta.

And as you can see- a little bit of each thing, goes a long way when you add them all together! And doesn't that look terrific?

Begin by frying the finely diced potato and onion with 5-6 finely sliced sage leaves until they become golden brown, in just 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Stir-fry whilst you boil the spaghetti and the peas together for 5-6 minutes and by that time, you should have nice golden potatoes, juicy, firm peas and pasta that is "al dente".

Add the spaghetti and peas into the frying pan along with plenty of the water that they cooked in.

Keep stirring until all of the excess water has been cooked-in or evaporated away, grate generously with nutmeg and a grind of pepper.

Add a last trickle of olive oil before serving, a generous amount of salted ricotta... and prepare to enjoy!

Stir it together and enjoy that salty and sweet and intense flavor- its such a great combination!

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