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Spring Peas in a Chardonnay Cream Sauce with Bucatini

Bucatini is a perfect pasta to hold this creamy sauce that includes an oaky Chardonnay similar to the Ankida Ridge I used from the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia. Any leftover wine can also be served with this fresh spring pasta. If you can't find a Virginia wine, try a similar, lighter-style Chardonnay from France. Just be sure that for this recipe you pick up the peas at your local spring market.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • 1 pound fresh English or early peas, shelled, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup of Chardonnay
  • 1T flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1t fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh pea shoots for garnish, optional

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once at a rapid boil, add peas and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove peas and place in an ice bath, reserving the hot water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate saucepan bring the cream, wine and flour to a slight simmer, stirring constantly until thick. Add the peas and lemon juice, stirring until heated, then remove from stove, keeping warm.

Drain pasta and set aside. When ready to serve, heat a small pan, adding a splash of olive oil and a serving size of pasta. Portion a half cup of the cream sauce with peas onto the pasta and quickly heat, tossing to coat. Repeat for each portion. This may seem like a cumbersome next step, but this sauce is quite thick and needs only to coat the noodles, letting the peas shine through.

Garnish with optional pea shoots and pass with fresh grated parmesan, salt and pepper.

Don't forget to serve with the leftover Chardonnay!

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