Pea & Ricotta Polpette with Mint & Pistachio Pesto
- 200 g fresh peas (shelled weight), or use frozen, defrosted
- 100 g ricotta cheese
- 100 g green split peas, ground to a fine powder
- 30 g cornflour
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- 30 g vegetarian Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 10 g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 free range egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- groundnut oil, for deep frying
For the pesto
- 25 g fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 40 g vegetarian Parmesan cheese
- 150 ml olive oil, plus 2 tbsp for cooking
- 20 g pistachio kernels
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Put the ground split peas in a bowl with 100 ml hot water. Stir into a paste and set to one side for 20 minutes while you make the pesto and prepare the other ingredients.
- Put the mint leaves, pistachio kernels, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan in a blender and process until you have a thick pesto sauce. Set to one side.
- Cook the peas in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Mash half the peas and put in a bowl, with the other peas, the green split pea paste, cornflour, egg yolk, spring onions, lemon zest and fuice, Parmesan, chilli, mint leaves, ricotta and sea salt. Mix to combine thoroughly.
- Start cooking your spaghetti.While it is cooking, pour the oil into a pan to a depth of about 5 cm. Place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully drop tablespoons of the polpette mixture into the oil. You will need to do this in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and lowering the temperature too drastically. Turn the polpette to ensure they are evenly cooked to a lovely golden brown colour. This should take 2-3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Drain the spaghetti through a colander and return back to its empty cooking pan. Add half the mint and pistachio pesto and stir to coat the spaghetti.
- To serve, place the spaghetti in bowls, topped with a few pea polpette. Drizzle over the remaining pesto.
Recipe & photo from Steve Dent AKA The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen