Fresh peas with bacon, mint and orecchiette Makes: 4 servings 8 ounces fresh peas 8 ounces smoky bacon, cut into 1/4-inch lardons 8 ounces dried orecchiette pasta 1 cup packed mint leaves- chopped Pecorino Romano cheese 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil Black pepper Bring a pot of salted water (it should taste like seawater) to a boil. Blanch the peas in the boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer the peas to a bowl of ice water to cool. Cook the bacon lardons until crispy. Reserve one tablespoon of the bacon fat and strain the bacon. Add the orecchiette to the boiling water. Stir to keep from sticking and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then strain the orecchiette. Heat the bacon fat and olive oil in the pot until it starts to shimmer. Add the orecchiette and stir to coat. Add the pasta water and stir vigorously. Add the peas, bacon, mint and black pepper. Stir to combine and serve immediately. Top with the shaved cheese.
Photo and styling by John Houser III
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