One of my favorite columns/series on Serious Eats is French in Flash, authored by Kerry Saretsky, creator of French Food Revolution. The dishes are usually extremely simple and always even more delicious. Typically I put the ideas in the back of my head (or add as a bookmark on my computer) and cook something based on that idea. This time, the recipe was for a Sweet Pea Pistou and Chèvre. The Vegetarian said this was a must make…so I embarked on the ingredients and made it with a few changes.
As crazy as it sounds, I didn’t use any fresh basil, and instead used some dry basil and just added a bit more peas. It came out well, and once it was mixed with the pasta, a little pasta water to moisten and the cheese, it was a winner.
serves serves 4 to 6
1 pound penne pasta
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dry basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts*
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound thawed frozen peas**
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
*You can toast in the oven, or add to a small skillet with a drop of oil and toast over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
**You can accelerate this by adding to colander and rinse with warm water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding several pinches of salt to the water. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the garlic, basil, and pine nuts in the food processor until a paste forms. Add the cheese and with processor on, pour in oil through the feed tube, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, and season with salt and pepper. Purée until completely smooth, about 2-4 more minutes.
Add cooked pasta to large bowl, and add pea pistou and toss together. Here you can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add only a little at a time until the consistency is right. Add crumbled goat cheese and toss once or twice. Enjoy!!!