We Love Cooking! + [peas]

:: Pea Mint and Feta Pasta!

My little kitchen garden, which I started earlier this year is in full bloom at the moment, and if I was harvesting weeds alongside all the lovely veggies I would probably be thrilled - they've literally taken over. However, despite the amount of unwelcome weeds and other guests includings snails, slugs and a family of caterpillars who have all happily taken up residence in my little plot, I have been busy harvesting this week! Last month I plucked out eight massive bok choys which, freshly chopped, made a tasty Asian salad with chopped cashew nuts, two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, two tablespoons of soy sauce, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Now I could talk to you about the sense of pride there is in picking and cooking something that you've grown in your own back garden, and of course there is, but if I did so I would feel a massive sense of guilt because realistically, I'm a bad gardener! I have spurts of interest, then I get preoccupied with other things and, like last weekend, come back to check out the progress to find my plot completely overgrown.

Last year's kitchen garden was a complete disaster but this year I have my amazing raised veggie garden boxes which can be ordered on Patchworkveg.com from Sean Gallagher who installs them with no hassle and even imparts a bit of growing advice while he's at it. The raised boxes are a lot more manageable for first time veggie gardeners and make for far less back breaking work when you end up doing the amount of weeding I do! The magic of good old mother nature is a beautiful thing and even though my plants don't actually recognise me each time I come to visit, I'm still left with super veggies - like the amazingly beautiful peas I picked this week, which were so sweet and fresh that I had to be stopped from eating them all right there in the garden!

Pea Mint and Feta Pasta
This is a super simple little supper which can be thrown together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. To be honest, if you can't get peas straight from the garden it's almost better to use frozen here, as peas begin to loose their natural sugars as soon as they're picked, so even fresh ones in the supermarket probably won't be as good as you will get frozen. This recipe is easily adapted with most leftovers you might have in the fridge. I love a little bit of chorizo added here or maybe some freshly chopped basil with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4
300g of pasta
5 tablespoons of creme fraiche
150g of feta cheese
150g of fresh peas if you have them, otherwise use frozen
A good handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
A pinch of salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack and drain.
If you are using frozen peas, cook them until tender and drain. If you are using fresh peas and they are tender and young, I don't bother doing anything to them apart from shelling them and giving them a quick splash under some cold water.
When the pasta is cooked, add the creme fraiche, feta cheese, peas, mint, salt and pepper and stir gently until the pasta is evenly coated.
Serve straight away with a good squeeze of lemon juice!