You will need a can of peas, salt peper and milk or cream. The can must be large enough to emerge your hand held blender. Use between fifty and one hundred grams of peas per person. Use two and a half spoons of milk per person. Two spoons when using cream. The ideal pasta for this dish are spaghetti. Avoid short pasta, especially for scenic reasons. Can peas surprise tends to look sloppy, even uncouth.
Half open the can of peas and push the lid down. Drain the peas but make sure to save the liquid in a cup.
You may now remove the lid completely. Be careful, the lid tends to be sharp and may cause nasty cuts. When cooking with kids, make sure and adult is present and let him or her perform the removal of the lid. It is by far the most complicated step in the procedure.
Add the milk or cream, pepper and salt. Then gently blend, working top down. Apply a steady yet light pressure. Switch the blades of when lifting the blender. Not only is this safer, it will prevent you from cleaning green spurts from all over the kitchen.
Add three quarters of the smooth cream to your spaghetti and stir. You may add some of the liquid you set apart it it results too dry.
Legumes contain proteins, but you may add more.
Fry diced bacon (pancetta, guanciale or similar) in a pan. Let is cool down, remove the excessive fat and add it to the smooth green pea cream.
Parsley intensifies the green color. Add it to the peas before blending.
Mint bring freshness. Use a teaspoon of dried mint or one leave of fresh mint per person.
Twirl a meat fork in the spaghetti and keep spinning till you have the right portion. Carefully transfer the pasta on a plate. Then add the remaining pea cream on top. Just for contrast add fine strips of orange zest.
White tableware contrast wonderfully with the intense green of this dish.
Can spin save you?
Unless you are on social-suicide-mode, do not mention the can. Spin it as a simple, honest dish. With Mediterranean origins. Prepare an answer to the question where the recipe come from. Tell you guest it was whispered to you by an old Italian lady or something similar. People seem to appreciate this.
The main advantage of cans is that they are cheap and yet contain quality products, all year around. Making can- pea-surprise a dish for all seasons.
Do not try the same procedure with chickpeas or lentils. We will dedicate a whole chapter on how to prepare them later.
Use some of the pasta-water to rinse the can. Waste not, want not.
Can-pea-surprise goes wonderfully well with a Sicilian Chardonnay. Or a chardonnay. Peas and Pinot are quite a pair too, not only for the alliteration.
As a valid alternative we advice you iced water. Especially when served for lunch and in summertime.