Minted Pea & Pork Pasta
At the market yesterday I bought fresh peas, and this afternoon I sat at my dinner table shelling them, listening to the rain falling onto the tin bits of the roof. Quite relaxing.
I knew I wanted to cook the peas with some fresh mint, and at the supermarket earlier today pork strips caught my eye. I visualised a platter of pasta topped with pork strips and smashed minted peas on top.
While I was shelling the peas, the rest of it came together. To go with the minted peas, I would marinate the pork strips in a mix of mint curry powder and oil, and for a sauce I would use some of the cooking water from the peas mixed with cream cheese.
The pasta shapes I used are from a local pasta company and are called little pockets. They’re ridged on the outside and folded together but open up when cooked and look a bit untidy on a platter or plate, but that’s what I was aiming for. They’re quite good to absorb sauce.
How did it turn out? Very good! I would make more sauce, though, next time; I did have enough cooking liquid left but after making the first batch I was simply too lazy to make more.
All ingredients went very well together, the taste of mint was very clearly discernible but not overpowering. I was thinking the cream cheese might have a sweet-ish touch but that wasn’t the case at all.
I would definitely make this again, and can in fact look forward to taking the three portions now in the freezer to work for lunch.
If you want to make this and can’t get your hands on mint curry powder, I think this could be quickly made at home in a blender with powdered ingredients: turmeric, onion, paprika, parsley, cumin, garlic, mint, black pepper, bay leaf.
Minted Pea & Pork Pasta
400 g pork strips
mint curry powder
500 g fresh peas (weight with shells), shelled
handful of fresh mint
500 g pasta shapes that absorb sauce well
Start by mixing mint curry powder with olive oil and pouring it over the pork strips, stir well until all the meat is covered, add more if necessary (meat should not swim in oil). Set aside to marinate.
Chop a handful of mint.
Cook pasta in salted water. Cook peas in water with 1 tsp salt and half the chopped mint for approx. 12 minutes. Drain pasta. When draining the peas, keep the cooking water! Set pasta aside and keep warm. Place peas on a flat plate or board and crush 3/4 with a fork. Keep warm.
Fry curried pork strips in a non-stick pan and season with 1 tsp salt, adding oil as necessary. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and leave any remaining oil/juices in the pan. Add the pasta to the pan and fry for a few minutes, then remove.
Next add some of the pea cooking liquid to the same frying pan and stir in cream cheese – adjust amount of liquid and cheese according to the thickness and amount of sauce you want.
Arrange pasta on a platter, top with pork strips and peas, and top with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining chopped mint and serve immediately.