Pasta salad with fresh peas

This is a simple recipe that really shows off the fresh peas.


1 lb. Peas, freshShelled
½ lb. PastaUse Barilla Pipette, if possible, or a fairly small cut shape
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
½ cup CelerySliced thinly
½ cup Colored PeppersCored, quartered, thinly sliced red, yellow, or orange variety
1 clove GarlicMinced
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup ScallionsSliced thinly
3 tbsp MayonnaiseMore, or less to your preference
¼ tsp White PepperOptional
¼ cup Parmesan CheeseBe generous


1 Put the shelled peas in a small saucepan. Rinse and drain them a few times. Add about one tablespoon of water. Without a cover, cook the peas over moderate heat, moving the pan about some so that the peas don't brown on the bottom. I cook them just a minute or so. Usually most of the water evaporates, and we're left with briefly steamed, very fresh tasting peas. (Note: I have prepared this dish with frozen peas. I put them right from the bag into a small saucepan and cook them, without adding any water, just as briefly, until the water has evaporated, and the peas are just barely steamed.) Set the peas aside.
2 In boiling, salted water, cook the pasta, al dente. Drain it well, and place immediately in a large bowl. Add extra virgin olive oil and toss lightly to coat the pasta lightly so that it doesn't stick. After about three to five minutes, sprinkle on about one tablespoon of the vinegar. This is very important to the final flavor. Adding the vinegar at this point allows the pasta to absorb the flavor. Also, add the minced garlic and lightly toss. After about ten minutes or so, add the rest of the vinegar and toss lightly.
3 Up to this point, the dish can be prepared early in the day. After it has cooled to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and either continue, or return later in the day for the finishing.
4 Within a half hour or so before serving, add the peppers, celery, scallion, and peas. Just before serving, add the grated Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and white pepper (if used). This dish is finished.
5 We enjoy having this with a simple mesclun salad with a Balsamic vinaigrette, and also, some simple Italian or French bread. This is a fairly subtle dish. I like to enjoy it for what it is, perhaps a type of summer comfort food.