Jennifer fell in love with this dish while dining at her friend Joseph Cimino’s restaurant, Park Place. The anise flavor of the Pernod adds an almost minty brightness to the peas, evoking a reverie of Spring flavors.
8 ounces fresh morels, or 2 ounces dried morels
4 tablespoons chopped shallots
4 tablespoons cold butter, divided
1 cup cream
1 cup Spring peas (or 1 cup frozen, defrosted and drained)
4 tablespoons Pernod, or anise flavored liqueur
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb farfalle pasta (dry weight)
Prepare the sauce:
Clean the morels. If using dried morels, first rehydrate them in ¾ cup hot water. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain and follow the instructions for fresh morels. If using fresh morels, wash them under running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
[Chef’s Note: It’s important to clean your morels well to rid them of any grit or bugs. If using the dried variety, you can drain the soaking liquid using a coffee filter, and use this flavorful liquid to enrich a stock or sauce.]
If the morels are large, cut them in half. If they are small, leave them whole.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the minced shallots and morels, along with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until the shallots are translucent and the morels begin to soften, then add the peas and Pernod and braise for about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the pan and reduce until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and mount the sauce with additional cold butter, if necessary, and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
Prepare the pasta:
Bring enough salted water to a boil for the full pound of pasta (1 gallon of water and 4 tablespoons salt). Boil pasta until al dente and drain.
Place the pasta in a large bowl, add the cream sauce and gently toss. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Jennifer Iannolo
Photo by Lia Soscia