Fresh peas are best as that’s what motivated me to make this simple cucina povera dish. My cheese man friend gave me a bag of fresh picked peas from his farm and told me to get the local red onions and make a simple olive oil sauce which I did today in about 10 minutes. Well not really as it took about 30 minutes to shuck 2 pounds of peas or longer as i ate them as I went LOL. Feel free to use frozen peas straight from the freezer if you can’t get the fresh ones.
This doesn’t even need a recipe as you just saute an onion and 1 garlic clove with a chili pepper or some flakes. While that’s happening boil your pasta water – I use a lot less water these days as I’ve learned how you benefit from the starchy water in the final assembly with just enough water to cover the pasta completely. I used fusilli but you can use any pasta long or short. It’s really so easy and you can add pancetta or zucchini or whatever you are craving today or have on hand like cherry tomatoes even.
When the pasta is cooked but still has a nice firm bite, drain it, reserving a cup of pasta water, add it to the sauce in the big pan on medium high heat and stir it up to infuse the pasta with the sauce, adding the water as needed so that that pasta is coated but not drowning in sauce.
Taste for salt, plate it and sprinkle with pecorino or your favorite cheese and fresh cracked pepper and even basil if you have it. Just know that Italians don’t use black pepper when there is red pepper. They are not as pepper crazy as we Americans are.