Violet and I have been out exploring the nooks and crannies of our new neighborhood, stopping in every shop. Today we visited “Fresh Off The Farm,” a lovely little natural foods market on Route 1 in Rockport. I was so happy to find favorite brands like Mrs. Meyers and California Baby, bulk bins of grains, beesewax candles, supplements, two shaggy dogs, pretty plants and gorgeous produce. I got a flat of Early Girl tomatoes I hope to have success bringing to fruit, garlic scapes and fresh peas. It is such a nice spot for slowly browsing and thinking about things. Everyone there was so helpful.
For dinner, I wanted to recreate a pasta dish a friend had recently made but described as bland. I knew there should be spice to balance the creamy ricotta and lots of lemon to brighten up the olive oil. This is a super fresh dish made with what is beautiful, seasonal, and local. I love opening the windows and doors (and a bottle of wine) while I cook this time of year. Turn up the music and dance.
To extract the peas inside their pods, pull the string down the seam to reveal five or six sweet little green peas. Remember to get more than you’ll need. To prepare the garlic scapes, I peeled them with a carrot peeler between my thumb and forefinger, much like you would curl Christmas ribbon with a splayed pair of scissors. Their flavor is delicate and amazing. I used chicken sausage because that’s what I had in the fridge, but pancetta would be so, so good here. This is a perfect dinner for late June here in Maine. Happy Summer.
Fettucine with Sausage, Fresh Peas, and Garlic Scapes
- 2 sausage links
- 8 oz fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Palmful of red pepper flakes
- 6 garlic scapes, peeled
- 1 cup fresh peas, shelled and rinsed
- 1 small bunch spinach, torn
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lemon, both zest and juice
- Kosher salt, to taste
Add fettuccine to a large pot of salted, boiling water until it is cooked al dente. Add the peas to the pot for the last four minutes of cooking. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. In a deep skillet brown sausages in a spot of olive oil, then remove them from the pan and slice. Add the rest of the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic scapes, seasoned with salt, in the hot oil, about three minutes. Turn off the heat and add the spinach, pasta and peas. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with sausage, pasta water, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest and juice. Serve al fresco with a glass of chilled white wine.