Friday, March 21, 2014

Ms. Keller's students review Jefferson's favorite vegetables, plant and eat English pea pasta

Today Ms. Keller's students reviewed the names of the plants that we'd planted a few months ago as well as the length of his vegetable garden.  The 5th graders have planted Brown Dutch Lettuce, Marrowfat Peas, Siberian Kale and Prince Albert Peas. They learned that Jefferson's favorite vegetable was the English pea and that he'd have contests with his neighbors as to who harvested the first or best tasting pea. Today they planted tarragon since that is one of the herbs that Jefferson liked. It's so nice to have a squirrel-proofed bed so the plants don't get eaten!

They ate English peas fresh and in pasta. They judged the sugar snap peas their favorite, and noted that you can eat all of the sugar snap pea while the pod of the English pea is a bit thick.

Fettuccine with Peas and Mint  (from Bon Appetit)


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. fettuccine or tagliatelle
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shelled fresh or frozen English peas, thawed
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 14 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1 1/4 cups pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peas, garlic, shallot, and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water; bring to a boil.
Transfer pasta to skillet with peas and shallot. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Add butter and then Parmesan and remove pan from heat; stir and toss until melted and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Stir and toss in mint, and season to taste with salt. Serve.

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