Assorted lush shades of green encompass the landscape this time of year. Spring, a time of revival, renewal and start over’s. Yes, start over’s. As in something keeps eating the spring greens in my garden, so now I have to start over.
At least the chicken gals are the beneficiaries of the demolished plants. They’re loving the lush stems of what was to be a delicious leaf that would grace my pasta or salad recipes.
So it was timely that Ranger Craig and I decided to head over to Eastsound Farmer’s Market on Orcas Island a few weeks ago. I found a bounty of spring produce that made me almost giddy. Spring onions, asparagus, leafy greens and some small sweet baby peas. Not to mention slurping fresh shucked oysters and dining on freshly cooked Carni Asada with homemade corn tortillas.
If that wasn’t spectacular enough, I ran into two good friends and fellow food and farm bloggers, Janelle of Talk of Tomatoes, and her newest baby, Farmstr.com; and Wendy of Chez Chloe and her newest adventure, a gourmet food store called “Chez Chloe”. A must visit when staying on Orcas Island. Wendy stocks an impressive selection of salts and oils and books and chocolates… the deliciousness goes on and on.
What a brilliant day. Sunshine, warm breezes off the bay, food that caused a most soul filled joy and two friends to make the day even brighter.
Sweet Baby Peas and Mushroom Pappardelle tossed in Sherry Cream
Serves 2-3 (recipe can be doubled)
8-10 ounces Pappardelle or any wide hearty pasta, cooked homemade or according to package instructions
2 tablespoons butter (plus extra if needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups thin sliced cremini or assorted local mushrooms
3 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup dry sherry
1 pint heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked fresh spring peas or thawed organic sweet peas (look for a brand that is locally grown)
¼ -1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Options: Grilled/Roasted Chicken or Grilled Shrimp (sometimes I like to toss in some cubed cooked chicken or place a grilled chicken breast cutlet on top of the pasta before serving)
In a medium sauce pan heat the butter and olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Once the butter has melted and is frothy add the shallots and thyme. Sauté for just a minute or two and then add the mushrooms. Continue to sauté the mushrooms, adding an additional tablespoon of butter or oil if needed to help soften the mushrooms.
Once the mushrooms are cooked the way you like them, add the garlic (I like my mushrooms slightly golden). Continue to cook for another minute and then whisk in the sherry. Let the sherry simmer until slightly reduced and then whisk in the heavy cream.
Let the heavy cream come to a lively simmer and then season with salt and pepper to taste. For a little heat, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Add the peas to the sauce and then pour the sauce over the pasta. Remove any remaining thyme sprigs.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and add the parmesan cheese. Let the pasta cool so the sauce can thicken slightly and then plate the pasta and garnish with chopped Italian parsley.
Serve immediately or serve warm. This is even delicious straight out of the frig 🙂