This dish arose from a dialog with my 5 year old over what he wanted for dinner, which went along the following lines:
I: Mommy I want pasta for dinner.
Me: OK, could you get me the jar of pasta sauce from the fridge please?
I: NO.. I want it with olive oil and pepper & Italian herbs.
Me: Can I add some broccoli?
I: OK mommy, you know broccoli is reeeally good for you and I'm a BIG boy, almost 6 yrs (he turned 5 in December, by the time January rolled around, he was 'almost 6')
Considering that I was trying to bring down my levels of pasta hoarding, he got what he wanted..my only concession, I used a lemon flavored EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).. & at the end of it, I was greedily sneaking as much as I could from his plate!
There is something to be said about the pure joy of scarfing down pasta dressed simply with EVOO, salt, pepper & a few pinches of dried herbs. The aroma just drove me nuts, not to mention the squelchy feel of pasta being chewed! So of course I had to make it again, this time with a bit of grown up veggies thrown in, The first time I made this, ramps were in season, but for subsequent sessions, I used scallions.
Pair with a glass of chilled Pinot grigio
to 3 whole ramps, OR scallions (white & light green parts) finely sliced
to 5 pieces sundried tomato cut into thin strips
crushed red pepperflakes
lemon flavored EVOO as needed
crushed peppercorn & herbes de Provence, more to taste
salt, more to taste
fresh grated or shaved parmesan, as preferred
Heat 4 cups of water with about a tsp each, of salt and olive oil. When it boils, add the Pasta and cook as per the instructions on the package. When the pasta is done, remove it from the boiling water using a slotted spoon, drain & set aside. Use the starchy water to blanch the peas & cook them to your preferred level of 'doneness'. Strain the peas and set aside.
In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the scallions till translucent. Add the sundried tomatoes , the black pepper, the red chili flakes. Stir till the sundried tomato begins giving off a characteristic aroma. Add the peas & saute further for ~ 2-3 minutes.
Add the veggies and herbes de Provence to the strained pasta and toss. Drizzle the lemon flavored EVOO as per your preference.
Add the Cheese prior to serving and pair with a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.