We're ready to ring in spring's fresh peas and morels the best way there is: with a big bowl of pasta. This one comes from Mimi Weissenborn, the chef at Yvette Leeper-Bueno's Vinatería in New York City. The only thing that'd be springier is to add lamb—which, come to think of it, isn't a bad idea.
Spring Garganelli with Morels and Peas
Recipe adapted from Mimi Weissenborn, Vinatería, New York, NY
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ pound morels, cleaned with a brush or cloth
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons tarragon, minced
Splash of Marsala wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound garganelli, fresh or dried (or sub penne)
6 ounces freshly shelled or frozen peas
Pea tendrils, for garnish (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Raise the heat and add the morels, stirring frequently. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the cream and lower the heat so that the cream bubbles as it reduces. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cream has reduced by about half. Add the tarragon and Marsala wine, then season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, bring 2 separate pots of water to a boil. In one, add the pasta. In the other, blanch the peas for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until they lose their raw bite.
5. When the pasta is al dente (8 to 10 minutes), drain it and reserve the pasta water. Add the pasta to the pan with the morel sauce and toss until combined, adding reserved pasta water as necessary.
6. Add the peas, top with the pea tendrils if using and serve immediately.