Tag Archives: peas

Lemony Pasta Primavera

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I love to eat pasta any time of the year but sometimes the summer weather calls for something on the lighter side. My answer is this lemon infused pasta Primavera. Filled with fresh vegetables, it is flavorful and creamy without being overwhelming. I love the colorful combination of peppers, carrots, snap peas and asparagus but feel free to use whatever combination of fresh vegetables you desire. Just be sure to cook them in batches so they don’t get over done. You want all of the vegetables to be al dente rather than mushy.


1 box farfalle or other small pasta, cooked according to the package instructions

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 small shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup thinly sliced carrots

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup sugar snap peas

1 cup baby asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 cup half & half

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced basil

1 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Set a large stock pot filled with water over high heat. When the water boils cook the pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and stirring occasionally, saute until soft and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add in the red and yellow peppers and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and add to the reserved shallots and garlic.
  • Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside with the other reserved vegetables.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pan well to removed any stuck on pieces. Cook for several minutes until the mixture has reduced by half.
  • Add the chicken broth and cook for 5-6 minutes until the mixture is further reduced and slightly syrupy.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the half and half and the cheese. Stir well and cook just until the cheese has melted and the sauce is warm.
  • Add the basil and lemon zest to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Return the vegetables to the skillet and toss well to coat.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables and cream and heat for 1 minute, stirring well to combine.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 6




Sauteed Sea Bass w/ Lemony Pea Cream

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Here’s a dish that just screams summer. With fresh peas readily available in the markets, or your garden if you are lucky enough to have one, this dish makes for an easy and flavorful dinner. The recipe comes from Saveur Magazine and I’ve made a few adaptations to fit the needs of my pantry and my family’s taste buds. The recipe originally used cod filets as the protein. I substituted sea bass filets but you could use any firm white fleshed fish.  In a pinch you can use frozen peas but if fresh are available, do use those since they are just so good. Serve the fish alongside a starch of your choice –I used steamed jasmine rice– and dinner is ready.


4 boneless, sea bass filets cut into 2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon mustard seeds, lightly crushed

2 cups fresh peas

Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & pepper to taste

2/3 cup half and half or light cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dill to garnish, optional

  • Sprinkle the sea bass filets with the crushed mustard seeds and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add lemon juice to the fish and allow to sit for an additional 1/2 hour.
  • Place the peas in a small sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of water. Steam until tender and drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of peas.
  • Using a stick blender, puree 1 1/2 cups of peas and the lemon zest with the half and half. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the mixture into a small saucepan and place over low heat to keep warm.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper then add the sea bass to the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until the fish is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes in total.
  • Divide the pea puree between 4 plates and top with the fish.
  • Sprinkle the reserved peas over the top of the fish and garnish with dill if desired.

Serves 4

Curried Eggplant & Tofu

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Curry is the ultimate in Asian comfort food.  To me, it warms me both inside and out.  You can put just about anything into your curry; whether you use meats, tofu, or any of a combination of vegetables, you really can’t go wrong.  Eggplant adds a bit of bulk to an otherwise light dish making it a filling dinner choice.  If you aren’t a fan of tofu you can substitute an equal amount of meat, chicken, pork, or shrimp.  To make the dish completely vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.  Serve it over basmati rice and dinner is ready.


1 tablespoon peanut oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions

4 tablespoons yellow curry paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce (omit for a vegetarian version)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups purple eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces

1 pound firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup diced tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro and limes for garnish (optional)

  • Heat the peanut oil in a wok set over high heat.  When the oil shimmers add the red onion and curry paste and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and lemon zest.  Add to the wok and bring to a boil.
  • Add the eggplant to the wok and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tofu and tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Stir in the lime juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately over basmati rice.

Serves 4

Turkey Pot Pie


Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end.  In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu.  Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey?  In reality, the possibilities are endless.

Turkey pot pie is one of my all time favorite uses for leftover turkey.  Turkey and vegetables cooked in a creamy sauce and hidden beneath a flaky crust make for the ultimate cool weather comfort food.  This recipe is an adaptation of one from America’s Test Kitchen.  The recipe is extremely flexible; add or subtract vegetables as you like, use more turkey or less, and it will still be good.  You can make the pie as one large casserole topped with either a traditional crust, biscuits, or even store-bought phyllo dough or puff pastry if you are short on time.  Alternatively, you can make the pies in individual dishes which is my preferred way to serve them.  Regardless of the crust you use, make sure the filling in hot when you place it on top otherwise you will end up with a soggy crust.

Serve the pot pies up with some left over cranberry sauce and watch them disappear.


For the pie crust:

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold buttermilk or water

  • Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • In half tablespoon increments, add the buttermilk or water and stir, cut, or process until the dough just holds together.  You might not need to use all of the liquid.
  • Divide the dough in half and cover and set one half aside.
  • Place the piece of dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin roll and stretch the dough into a large circle.  Roughly divide the circle into four equal pieces, loosely cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to use.

For the filling:

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small coins

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 bay leaves

3 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup frozen or canned corn kernels

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425.
  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and salt and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and thyme and saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the flour and wine scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the broth, cream, and bay leaves and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.  
    Stir in the turkey until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Discard the bay leaves and stir in the peas and corn.
  • Divide the filling evenly between 4 oven-proof bowls, mini-casserole dishes or other individual serving dishes.  (Alternatively, pour the entire mixture into a single large casserole dish).
  • Using the reserved crust, place one piece of dough over the top of each casserole dish.  Use a sharp knife to trim the excess dough from the edges of each dish and crimp the edges to form a seal.   Cut two or three slits into the top of the crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Place the casseroles on a large rimmed baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling in bubbly.
  • Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

For other turkey inspired recipes check out the following:

Pierogi with Ham & Peas

It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries and allow you to put a real meal on the table in less than half an hour.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.


This dish is the ultimate in comfort food and better yet is composed completely of leftovers.  With all of the prep-work having been done ahead of time, the dish comes together in a flash.  The combination of ingredients ensures that even the picky three-year old in my house are able to find something he likes in the dish. I threw in the peas since I had a bowl of them in the refrigerator but they can easily be omitted and you can serve another vegetable or even a salad on the side.

If you have homemade pierogi in your freezer, this dish can come together in minutes. My Polish grandmother would have disagreed, but you can also buy them pre-made.  When I lived in Western Massachusetts, fresh pierogi could be bought in the fresh foods section of most grocery stores.  If those aren’t available, you can usually find decent frozen ones in the freezer section of the grocery store.  They won’t be quite as good but they will work.


4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, diced

12 fresh or frozen potato and cheese pierogi

8 ounces cooked ham, diced

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Salt and pepper to taste

  • If you are using frozen pierogi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pierogi and cook until they float to the top of the water, 4-5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon remove from the water and drain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering.  Add the onions and saute until browned, 3-4 minutes.  Add the diced ham and stir to combine.  Cook until the ham is heated through.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and return the pan to the heat.  When the oil is hot carefully place the pierogi in the pan.  Cook for 4 minutes without disturbing so that a brown crust forms on the outside of the pierogi.  Carefully flip the pierogi and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the peas in boiling water until they are hot.  (Alternatively, reheat the peas in a microwave if you are using leftovers).  Drain.
  • Add the ham and onion mixture to the pierogi and cook for an additional minute. 
  • Add the peas and toss to combine.  
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serves 4

Pea & Mint Puree with Lemon


A pureed soup is my favorite starter for a formal dinner.  It can be made ahead of time and the recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled to serve a crowd.  With the arrival of spring my mind has been turning to fresher and lighter ingredients and peas and mint are the ultimate spring ingredients.  Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma’s Soup of the Day, this soup has become my go-to recipe for spring entertaining.  The bright green color makes for a beautiful presentation with the mint adding a pleasant surprise for guests.  Served with Lemon-Parmesan Madeleines this is the perfect starter for a larger meal but can also stand alone with a green salad and some crusty French bread for a light lunch.


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups fresh or frozen peas, plus more for garnishing

1/2 cup chopped mint, plus small leaves for garnishing

1 Tablespoon sour cream

Grated zest of one lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Olive oil for drizzling

  • In a large, heavy stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  
  • Add the shallots and cook until soft, 5 minutes.  
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil.  
  • Add the peas, reserving a few for the garnish and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes.  
  • Stir in the chopped mint.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or use a stick blender.  
  • Return to the pot, stir in the sour cream and warm over medium heat.  
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest.  
  • Season with salt and pepper an serve, garnish with the mint leaves, peas, and drizzled with the olive oil.
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