Pea and Orecchiette Spring Salad with Perlini and Mint

May  1, 2015
1 Rating
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This salad has the flavors of ramps, peas, and fresh mozzarella, along with the brightness of mint. It's also a great picnic option as it's mayonnaise-free. —Kat Suletzki

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Kat Suletzki lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and eats everything—except for veal.
WHAT: A fresh take on pasta salad, made sunnier with mint and ramps.
HOW: Toss blanched peas and pea pods with cooled orecchiette pasta dressed in vinegar with minced ramps. Finish with mint, spinach, scallions, and mozzarella, and serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This recipe is the perfect springtime dinner base—serve it with seafood (our recipe tester added scallops!) or a spring chicken recipe—wine too!—and you have all the makings for a perfect summer evening. —The Editors

  • Serves 2 to 4
  • 2 cups shucked baby peas (or frozen peas, if necessary)
  • 2 cups snow pea pods
  • 2 cups orecchiette pasta
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced wild garlic (ramps) or 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 cup perlini mozzarella (alternatively, fresh mozzarella diced)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (optional)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set a colander in it. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add peas and pea pods and boil until just tender (about 60 to 90 seconds). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to the ice water bath to shock the vegetables and keep them from cooking—this keeps them fresh and green. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender but al dente, about 10 minutes (see package instructions; this may vary). Drain the pasta (do not rinse) and place it in a large mixing bowl. Remove the colander of peas and pea pods from the water and set aside, lest they get waterlogged.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, and the minced ramps or garlic clove to the bowl of warm pasta and stir to combine. Let the pasta stand until it cools to room temperature.
  3. Add the peas, mozzarella, spinach (if using) scallions, and mint to the pasta. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve at room temperature.

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