Photos by Signe Birck

I just got back from a glorious long weekend in Nashville. The flowers were blooming, the trees were green, and the weather was sunny and in the mid-70's (a welcome reprieve after a long NYC winter!).

While I was there, I had the chance to be a part of a fun dinner party/photo shoot for one of my favorite magazines. I can't give away any details yet, but you'll be able to check out the story this summer! (Stay tuned.) I also had the privilege of spending the weekend with the lovely Jenn Elliott Blake, who flew in from Seattle to style the dinner and to celebrate her 30th birthday! It was so fun showing her around my hometown, and I foresee many more collaborations in our future...

But after two weeks on the road, it feels really good to be back home. NYC is in all of its springtime glory as well, with flowering trees and slowly warming temperatures, AND–best of all–some of my favorite springtime ingredients! Asparagus, ramps, and rhubarb are popping up at the market, but nothing can compete with my love for English peas.


Tender and sweet, covered by a protective pod, these bright green peas take a bit of work to prepare, but they're worth every minute. English peas and mint are a natural pair, and I love combining them whenever possible. I've already shared a few pea-and-mint ideas on the blog, like Spring Pea Risotto and Halibut with Pea-Fava Puree. But in the next few posts, I'll give you a few more of my favorite pea-mint combos, such as my new favorite: Pea and Pancetta Pasta.

A lighter take on carbonara, this penne dish is ultra-simple to make. Saute some pancetta, shallots, and garlic, boil some pasta (you'll add in the peas during the last few minutes of cooking), then toss the hot pasta and peas with the pancetta, shallots, a bit of pasta water, and some Parmesan beaten with an egg. Toss it all together until creamy and season with chopped fresh mint and cracked pepper. Try this once and you'll be hooked. Enjoy!

Pea Pasta[recipe:best-spring-pea-ravioli-proscuitto-pea-shoots-recipe]