Donal Skehan

How does your garden grow?

I am very proud to announce that my kitchen garden has just started producing the first fruit and vegetables of the season, so the recipes I want to share with you use a few of the things I’ve grown myself. They are all easy to grow and, more importantly, easy to cook.  It’s my third year growing fruit and vegetables and, for the first time since I started, my little patch is right outside my door. When we moved into our new house it came with a jungle of a garden out the back, which I had high hopes would become my little plot.  After a lot of strimming and cutting and snipping and chopping, there was finally room for some raised beds courtesy of Patchworkveg.com and, within a few months, I had a place to grow.

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Pea Mint and Feta Pasta

This is a super simple little supper which can be thrown together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. To be honest, if you can’t get peas straight from the garden it’s almost better to use frozen here, as peas begin to loose their natural sugars as soon as they’re picked, so even fresh ones in the supermarket probably won’t be as good as you will get frozen. This recipe is easily adapted with most leftovers you might have in the fridge. I love a little bit of chorizo added here or maybe some freshly chopped basil with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4
300g of pasta
5 tablespoons of creme fraiche
150g of feta cheese
150g of fresh peas if you have them, otherwise use frozen
A good handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
A pinch of salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack and drain.

If you are using frozen peas, cook them until tender and drain. If you are using fresh peas and they are tender and young, I don’t bother doing anything to them apart from shelling them and giving them a quick splash under some cold water.

When the pasta is cooked, add the creme fraiche, feta cheese, peas, mint, salt and pepper and stir gently until the pasta is evenly coated.

Serve straight away with a good squeeze of lemon juice!

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