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Quick Hit: Orecchiette Olio

Olio: a happy mix of various items. In this case, sort of like a pasta potpourri, a miscellaneous medley of delicious items, combined into a harmonious whole. This one also works as a cold salad the next day for lunch.

  1. Cook the orecchiette pasta according to package directions. The small “ears” indentations work well to hold the peas, etc. but other small shapes like farfalle or elbows would also work here. I used about a cup (dry pasta, maybe 4 oz), but adjust as needed to feed more people.
  2. You can cook the peas right along with the pasta. About a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup should do well. If they’re fresh, wait to add them to the water until the pasta is nearly cooked. The frozen peas could join immediately or go in for the last 5 minutes or so. I’m still experimenting with that, so do whatever works best for you.
  3. While the pasta cooks, chop 2 -3 scallions (depending on size and how much you like them).
  4. Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve some of the pasta water for later.
  5. Toss the hot orecchiette and peas with the chopped scallions, about 15 oz of chickpeas, either canned (rinse those well first) or cooked from dried chickpeas (if you can plan ahead and have these on hand) and some crumbled feta cheese, about 1/4 cup. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water (start with 1 Tbs) to make a bit of a sauce. Add more if things seem too dry.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, or let cool to room temperature or serve slightly cold the next day.

 

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