8.17.2011

Sweet Pea Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Cranberry Beans and Swiss Chard


Just the other day I had made the startling observation that we are already halfway through August. When did that happen? I have yet to shuck enough peas, eat enough juicy heirloom tomatoes or have my fill of enough berries to be ready to move on the next season. It then occurred to me that there are so many fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of their prime this time of year and if I was going to experience them at their best, I had better get cracking. It was this thought and mindset that inspired this dish - homemade pasta with fresh pea and mint puree, tossed with cranberry beans, roasted cherry tomatoes and chopped swiss chard.


There's something so calming about sitting on a front porch, barefoot, on a sunny day shucking peas. It made me long for a Mason Jar filled with chilled iced tea or maybe some freshly squeezed lemonade? As much as I love fall, I'm just not sure I'm ready to wave good-bye to summer yet and all its tank top and flip-flop wearing glory.


This dish honors all of those wonderfully sweet flavor of summer and neatly packages them up in a bowl. The fresh tomatoes, once they've spent some time slow roasting in an oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, get delightfully jammy and the chard provides a naturally rustic balance while the cranberry beans emphasize that earthy tone, reminding you where everything came from. The pea puree ties it all together and brings out a bright sweetness and then it gets lightly dusted with fresh Parmesan cheese, just before serving. This dish is best served when warm and enjoyed slowly, preferably on a front porch on a hot summer night.

Sweet Pea Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Cranberry Beans and Swiss Chard
- 1 pound linguine (I used fresh, but boxed works just fine)
-  1/2 pound fresh peas, shucked and rinsed
- 1/2 pound cranberry beans, shucked and rinsed
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, rinsed thoroughly and chopped, separating the stems from the leaves
-  1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper

Start by blanching the peas by boiling them in generously salted water for a couple of minutes until they are just cooked through. Immediately strain the peas and dump them into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process and to preserve their color. Repeat the process with the cranberry beans and set both bowls aside. Next, blanch the swiss chard by cooking the stems first until almost done and then adding the leaves. Cook until tender and dip into ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

In a 350 degree oven, heat the cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper until they start to brown and become very soft.

In a blender, combine the Peas, a healthy splash of olive oil, the zest and juice of the lemon and the fresh mint. Blend until very smooth and season to taste. (If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little water.)

Next, cooking the pasta in a large pot of generously salted water. While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet with a bit of olive oil and heat the cranberry beans and Swiss chard. Once the pasta is very al dente, add it, plus a little of the pasta water, to the skillet and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and finally the pea sauce and heat it through. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

7 comments:

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

What a fun summery dish. I have been enjoying all the fresh summer veggies and usually with pasta too. I'll try adding mint next time!

Louise said...

Sounds delish!! Katie - where DO you come up with these inspirations? Thanks for all your recipes!! They're the best!!

Tres Delicious said...

Thanks for the recipe, really looking forward to try it out. Sounds delicious.

ashleigh said...

Those photographs look professional! you have a knack for food photography

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

So nice of you to say, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, this looks delicious! I've never cooked Swiss chard... about how long should I boil the stems before on adding the leaves? Thanks!

kavin hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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