If you have any concerns about your arteries or your waistline, you should probably avert your eyes. This is one of those dishes that can’t be made any other way except with the best cream you can find and plenty of pecorino cheese.
That’s the excuse I give myself when I want to make a meal out of the peas we’ve just harvested in the garden. The peas love to nestle in pasta shells such as these large elbows, or chiocciole. Rottini pasta would work as well.
Preparation is simple. Sweat 1/4 onion, diced small, in a heavy saute pan or skillet with olive oil. Season the onion with salt to draw out the liquid. When the onions are soft, after about 8 minutes, pour in 1 cup heavy cream, in this case the deliciously thick cream we get delivered from South Mountain Creamery. When the cream starts to bubble, lower the heat so that the cream continues to simmer.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add 1/2-pound pasta. While the pasta is cooking, the cream should thicken to a sauce-like consistency. Add 2/3-cup shelled peas to the sauce and cook just a minute or so, until the peas are softened to your taste. Season with a pinch of salt.
When the pasta is al dente, remove it from the pot, drain it well and toss it into the skillet with the cream sauce and peas. Stir in a liberal grating of pecorino cheese. Serve immediately in warm, shallow bowls.