Any home cook knows that the frozen pea is your friend. Always have some on hand for a quick and easy way to add on for soups, pasta and rice. Especially in the winter when you’ll need to brighten up your food with a reminder of spring. If you don’t have a freezer keeping a bag in your fridge or even outside on the balcony when it gets cold and snowy enough achieves the same effect though you’ll need to use them up faster.
But also don’t forget winter vegetables grown in Kosovo like broccoli, winter spinach and cabbage. All of these are excellent and help you get through the winter without resorting to an excess of carbohydrates.
So this week here’s some quick and easy recipes for a creamy pasta with frozen peas and shrimp. It’s similar to a recipe used by many old-school restaurants in Prishtina but instead of gorgonzola which can make the sauce claggy fresh cream (or you can use almond or soy based cream for vegan style) is used here instead. You can also add shrimp (frozen from Taunita) or chicken. Just make sure to add them before you put in the cream and white white and give them time to cook.
Also a recipe for risotto with frozen peas and mushrooms. It’s deliciously vegan and you can have it on the table in less than an hour.
Adding sage also gives both recipes a bolder herby taste. But again seasonings are to your taste.
Taglietelle with a white wine, pea and cream sauce
100 ml white wine (Stonecastle Verë e Bardhë 2 Euros a bottle is just fine)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic (or less if you don’t like garlic)
200 ml cooking cream (you can use almond, soy or other non-dairy cream here to make it vegan)
half a cup of frozen peas
salt, pepper, oregano, sage (fresh or dried) to taste and fresh basil to finish
Cook your pasta first in plenty of salty water and cook it till just under al dente. Save some of the cooked pasta water before you drain it all. Put a good glug of white wine into the bottom of a deep sauce pan. Chop the onion and the garlic and cook them until translucent. Add the peas. Season with salt and pepper, sage and oregano. Pour the cream and white wine in. Let simmer until the flavors marry and the sauce is reduced by a third. Add in the pasta and a little pasta water to help the sauce attach to the noodles. Stir and serve adding fresh basil to finish.
Risotto with mushroom and peas
2 cups of Arborio or short grain rice
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup of mushrooms (button are fine or go special with Porcini or wild mushrooms)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup White wine (Stonecastle Verë e Bardhë is fine)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (if you want it vegan).
Parmesan cheese (vegan Parmesan is hard to find so leave it off or f you can find it stick it on!)
salt, pepper, oregano, sage (fresh or dried) to taste; fresh basil to finish
Pour a big glug of olive oil into a sauce pan. Chop the onion and garlic into fine pieces fry in pan until translucent. Add chopped mushrooms and frozen peas. Pour in rice and make sure entire mixture covers all the rice. Season it with salt pepper and oregano. The secret to a good risotto is stirring. Once everything is well stirred, add your stock choice. And then add the wine. Stir some more on a high heat. Then turn the heat down a bit and let simmer. Come back and stir some more and add Parmesan if you want until fully cooked and the rice has a creamy texture. Add Parmesan and fresh basil to finish.