By Cat, March 2013 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
Feta is a Greek brined cheese, popular throughout the eastern Mediterranean, and typically made from sheep’s milk, or goat’s milk. It is a fairy dry, aged cheese that crumbles well; I always keep some on hand for crumbling over a salad, or in a favorite casserole such as pastitsio (pasticcio). And it is excellent in quick pasta dishes such as this one.
Fusilli is a spiral pasta that works well with cheesy-creamy sauces such as this one, and kids love them.
Fusilli with Feta and Green Peas
This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking (1); the original recipe was written to serve 4 – 6, but I’ve modified it to serve 2.
One way I’d like to serve this is to toss with cubed chicken meat, for a main dish. I’d also like to try this with snow peas (in the pod).
Ingredients & Equipment:
- ½ cup homemade chicken stock
- 1 cups shelled peas (fresh or frozen; if starting with peas in a pod, you’ll need about 1 lb before shelling)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- lemon wedges for garnish
- 4 oz fusili pasta
- 1 ½ oz feta, finely crumbled (about 5 Tbsp)
- 3 quart saucepan
- small saucepan
- large bowl
- Sauce: Bring stock to a boil over high heat; add peas and cook 2 – 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove from heat; using a slotted spoon, remove and reserve ⅓ cup of peas.
- Transfer broth and remaining peas to a blender. Add olive oil and all but ⅓ tsp of the dill, ⅓ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper. Blend until smooth; it will be thin.
- Pasta: Bring saucepan of water to boil.
- Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions, to al dente. Drain but reserve ¼ cup of pasta water, in case the finished dish is too thick.
- Place pasta in a large bowl. Add the sauce, reserved peas and 1 Tbsp of the feta and toss to combine..
- Serve garnished with the remaining feta, reserved dill, and lemon wedges on the side.