Ok, the presentation maybe a bit much; a bit Michelin wannabe; a bit wanky. I was bored at home on a Monday night and I just kinda went a bit mad. If you can look through the pomp, the recipe is sound....a real exercise in getting some serious flavour from these beautiful and delicate fresh peas. Early summer on a plate. For 2:
Fresh peas in the pod - 1kg
Risoni or Orzo pasta - 75g
Garlic - 1 fat clove, grated
Dried red flaked chilli - a good pinch
Best extra virgin - 50ml
Parma ham - 2 slices
Goats curd - 75g
Pea shoots - 1 punnet
Lemon zest and juice - 1 lemons worth
Pick your mint and peel the garlic. Pod the peas. Just cover the pods in water and bring to the boil with the mint stalks and the garlic skins. Simmer for 5 mins then strain and reserve the liquid - discard the pods. Bring the pea stock back to the boil and simmer the peas until just cooked - a minute or so. Strain reserving the liquid and refresh the peas in icy water to preserve the colour.
In a large frying pan, gently fry the parma ham in a little olive oil until crispy. Remove the parma ham to some draining paper - keep the dirty pan to one side. Blitz half the peas in a liquidizer with a little pea stock and some seasoning until a smooth puree is achieved. Pass the puree through a sieve and keep warm.
Bring the remainder of the pea stock back to the boil again with a good pinch of salt and cook the pasta until 'al dente' and drain - maybe 7 mins. Gently fry the garlic, peas and chilli in the parma ham pan with some more olive oil until warmed through. Toss in the cooked pasta, the lemon zest, the mint and a good squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Season well and keep warm.
Build the dish on warmed plates with the pea puree on the bottom, risoni, goats curd, pea shoots and a drizzle of extra virgin.