Pasta, Peas & Chou

5 Apr

Sunday, though nice, was not, for any apparent reason, as perfect as Saturday. The weather was lovely, yes, but, I had an agenda, the boy had an agenda, and so we parted was after sharing an early afternoon bulgogi sandwich.

I headed back to the bookstore to pick up what might possibly be my biggest and heaviest used cookbook purchase ever, The Complete Galloping Gourmet Cookbook. Even though I was laden down like Brighty of the Grand Canyon, it was too nice out to go home, so I bought new pots for my windowsill herb garden, some Sweetart Chickies, Duckies & Bunnies for my co-workers, and then walked and walked a little more.

By mid-day, I was knackered so I headed home just in time to meet the boy. I was thinking it was far too nice out to cook, that we should make sandwiches or go out or something, but somehow, a bee lodged itself in my beau’s bonnet, and this bee was eggs.

There were two leftover in the fridge from my spätzle making adventure and the boy was inspired by them. He wanted an omelette, or a fritatta or maybe even a tortilla for dinner. But after two consecutive days of beef for breakfast, I just couldn’t bear the thought of intentionally clogging my arteries any further, so I decided it was time to put my library to the test.shaker books

I started with The Omelette Book, which, surprisingly, only contains recipes for well, omelettes (which of course, I wasn’t in the mood for). Then I moved onto Diane Seed’s More Great Pasta Dishes, then Peter Rose’s Foods Of The Hudson, all of my many Shaker cookbooks, I even checked out my new find, but finally I settled into our armchair with my new go-to book The Silver Spoon.

While this Bible of Italian cooking has an entire section on egg recipes, what I was most interested in were the ones that weren’t in that section. silver spoon

I wanted something light and I didn’t want to use more than the two eggs I had already. I looked, and I looked. I giggled and I hit on a winner, but I didn’t give it up too early in the search, because it was just too perfect. After teasing with recipes like Eggs in Red Wine and Eggs with Fennel and Mozzarella, I finally revealed my sure bet recipe (because I know the way to the boy’s heart and stomach), Cavolifiore in Salsa D’Uova aka Cauliflower in Egg Sauce.

Just as I had suspected, this was met with a huge smile of pure satisfaction . Throw in my suggestion of adding some frozen peas and serving it mixed with pasta and his suggestion of garnishing with cheese and chili flakes, and I knew we had a surefire hit on our hands.

In retrospect, there were a few things I could have done better. For instance, I could have made sure I had the correct pasta shape on hand (I trust my brain more than my eyes from time to time). I also could have trusted the recipe more. I felt the sauce was going to be too thick to coat everything so I added a few teaspoons of pasta water. This was a mistake, it made it too thin and diluted the flavors. But all mis-steps aside, this was a lovely, simple, soul-satisfying dish that, in the end was the ultimate ending to a wonderful, nearly perfect weekend.

Head below the jump for the recipe for Pasta, Peas & Chou.
Pasta, Peas & Chou

prep time: 10 minutes ~ cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut into florettes
  • 2 1/2 ozs. frozen Peas
  • 8 ozs Dried Pasta (gnocchi shape or orrichette would work really well)
  • 2 organic, free-range happy Eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Flour
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
    To Serve:
  • Asiago or similar grated cheese
  • Chile Flakes
  • washed and dried baby Arugula

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the cauliflower to desired tenderness. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and drain. Add the peas to the water, cook just a few minutes and remove to the colander with the cauliflower.

Set the same pot of water to boil again, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

In a small skillet over medium-low heat add a glug of olive oil and begin to cook the garlic. Keep an eye on the garlic, when minced finely, garlic can go from toasty golden to black and burnt in a Milli-second.

In a bowl, crack the eggs and whisk. Slowly add the tablespoon of flour and whisk to incorporate. Add the milk and whisk. Season aggressively with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When pasta is done, drain and return to the pot with the cauliflower and peas set over a very low flame.

Add the egg/milk mixture to the skillet with the garlic. Turn the flame very low and whisk until it begins to become thicker in texture. Pour the mixture into the bigger pot and stir to coat the pasta, peas and cauliflower. (You can turn the flame up a little higher if you feel you need to to cook the sauce to the proper thickness, don’t be afraid, this is a more forgiving sauce than I could have imagined).

To serve: Place a handful of arugula leaves in the bottom of each bowl. Top with the pasta and garnish with cheese and chili flakes.


This recipe is loosely based on Cavolifiore in Salsa D’Uova from The Silver Spoon.


3 Responses to “Pasta, Peas & Chou”

  1. Sher April 6, 2006 at 9:10 am #

    Hey, that looks really yummy!! And the peas look like fresh picked, not wrinkled like some frozen ones. I have to try this.

  2. Julie April 18, 2006 at 3:29 pm #

    Nice photo! The green of the peas is such an inviting color.

  3. Pamela April 20, 2006 at 11:29 am #

    I really want to try this, it looks scrumptious!!

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