I found myself this evening with an extra kid visiting, some pasta, some pea greens, and very little ambition. My wife happened to be thumbing through a cookbook by Sarah Raven and came across a recipe for farfalle with chard. What was interesting about this one was that she had you cook the chard in its own moisture, wring it out, heat it with creme fraiche, parmigiano, and nutmeg, and then hit it with an immersion blender before tossing it with the pasta. Sounded good, so I did the following:
- Threw the rinsed pea greens in a saucepan with a little oil and cooked them until they were tender
- Dumped the greens into a colander and pressed them with a wooden spoon to get as much moisture out as possible
- Put some cream (3/4 - 1 cup or thereabouts) into the saucepan and heated it up
- Dumped the greens back in with about a half cup grated parmigiano and 2 T butter
- Cooked and stirred for a few minutes until the cheese melted in and the cream was good and hot
- Hit it with the immersion blender. This was interesting as it didn't really puree. It basically chopped the greens very finely and mixed them well with the cream and the cheese
- Threw in about 1/4 cup of diced Spanish chorizo, S&P, and a healthy pinch of cayenne. Tossed it with cooked, drained penne and served.
This was great. It maintained the pea flavor of the greens nicely and best of all, we got a nice homogeneous mix of greens and pasta. When I've made pasta with greens in the past, the greens have often sunk to the bottom of the pan, making it difficult to mix them in with the pasta. That problem is completely eliminated by the blender. I can't believe I haven't come across this before - it works so well.
Letterman asked Zevon if his condition had taught him anything about life and death. ''How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich,'' Zevon answered. (From a 2003 NYTimes article on Zevon by Jon Pareles.)