Quick meal for 1: Pasta with leeks, peas and chives

rotelle with leeks, peas and chives

Today I awakened to a garden void of pea plants–the gopher had struck again! Overnight, he had taken the last of my five pea plants underground, adding to his delicious gourmet assortment of garden “finds”: dill, carrots, french tarragon, and now English shelling pea plants (yes, when this sucker takes a plant he takes the WHOLE plant).

This has left me thinking what he might be creating with the above ingredients–he has quite a lovely Spring stash.

Still, I’m glad I had the foresight to pluck the 4 pea pods from my pea plants last week; at least, I got to taste them (unlike my tarragon which he pulled underground before I could even pluck a leaf from it). He is getting me to realize that I really should not wait to savor the fruits of my garden–I should savor them NOW.

And so–what did I do with the peas from those very four pea pods? I made a quick lunch for myself! The meal now has more weight in my mind, for those are the only 12 peas from my garden (literally) I’ll have tasted. But they were oh so sweet.

shelling peas and chives

In the vein of my previous lunch for one, pasta with tomatoes, pine nuts and basil, I thought I would create the same for myself last week. Again, I was alone in the house but wanting a little something special for myself–and boy those pea pods were tempting me (and I wanted to get to them before the gopher did).

Recipe follows after the jump…

Pasta with Leeks, Peas, and Chives in a sour cream sauce

Making these lunches are always a fun deal for me–I’m creating something from scratch, from ingredients at hand. Sometimes that is downright annoying, other times it’s just so stimulating. I had in between my fridge and garden, the following ingredients (yes, I had other ingredients but these were the ones that seemed to fit together):

  • 2 big leeks
  • 4 pea pods
  • chives
  • a box of rotelle pasta
  • parmesan cheese
  • butter
  • sour cream (I didn’t have milk or cream, which is what I was really looking for)
  • some chicken broth
  • and salt and pepper

pasta with leeks, peas and chives

What did I do with the above ingredients:

1. Prep all the veggies.

This means, chop the white part of the leeks (halve them lengthwise, and then slice until they look like half moons). Put them in a bowl of water and swirl them gently. Keep them in that bowl of water. This is how I clean leeks–this way the dirt floats down into the bowl and all you have to do later is skim the top for the clean leeks.

Peel the pods, and get the peas out of them.

Chop the leeks finely (they’ll be garnish)

2. I boiled the pasta. (I also blanched the peas with the pasta for a minute and then retrieved them).

3. While the pasta boiled, I heated up a couple tablespoons of butter and 3 big dollops of sour cream in a sauce pan. Then I added the leeks and sauteed them until more translucent and tender. Then add the peas. If the mixture looks a bit thick, add a few splashes of chicken stock.

4. By this point, your “sauce” of leeks and peas should be done…and the pasta near finished if not all the way ready. Add the pasta to the sour cream, leeks, and peas mixture in the sauce pan.

5. Thoroughly toss over low heat, and then serve. Garnish with parmesan and chives.

6. Enjoy! This dish was quite a surprise for me–dismayed at finding myself out of milk, I dubiously used the sour cream. But the sour cream was the soul of this dish and gave the pasta a mild tang that complemented the sweetness in the peas and leeks.

leek decor

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