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Remembering John Lennon: Give Peas a Chance

give peas a chanceI’ve had John Lennon songs in my head since this morning, when the alarm kicked on with “Imagine” on the radio, in tribute to the 30th anniversary of his death. Working at my desk today I’ve played “Jealous Guy”, “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” and “Give Peace a Chance”, which over the years has infiltrated our house more than the others as we try to convince our five-year old to eat his peas. Mike sings it on nights when peas are on the menu – “all we are saaaaayinggg – is give peas a chance!” W rolls his eyes at us. He doesn’t get it, of course. But he eats them. I think it’s working. Thanks, John. For everything.

The original song will be playing tonight as I make my new favourite end-of-a-long-day-don’t-feel-like-cooking-but-very-much-feel-like-eating comfort food sort of dinner. It’s easier to make than reheating a jar of spaghetti sauce, and probably costs in the vicinity of a buck.

And we have garden peas in the freezer – lots of them. At the end of summer, Mike and W shelled them on the living room floor, with Lou catching the strays. I wanted to use them as more than green filler for our dinner plates – to show them off a little more – and I remembered a Jamie Oliver recipe for cheesy peas. Pasta with Cheesy Peas – a perfect way to give peas a chance.

Pasta with Jamie’s Cheesy Peas

Really, don’t even worry about the measurements. Make as much pasta and peas as you like, and dress them up with butter, lemon and cheese, adding enough pasta water to make a sauce.

enough pasta for 3-4
4 big handfuls of fresh or frozen peas
a knob of butter
lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a squeeze of lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the pasta; cook until al dente, adding the peas for the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Before you drain it, scoop out some of the water with a measuring cup.

Drain the pasta and peas and put it back in the pan – add a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon and lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and enough of the pasta water to make a saucy consistency. Serves 3-4.

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