Spring is a wonderful time of year when you look forward to beautiful days, sunshine, and spending time outside after baring the winter temperatures. In Texas winters are not so severe and in southern California they finally got the rain they desperately needed. Spring is always a time for lamb and in California the hills are covered in wild nasturtiums. Here is a pasta dish inspired by the wild nasturtiums and mediterranean flavors of merguez, olive, and manouri cheese. Jp absolutely loved this dish and it is definitely a keeper. I absolutely love these flavors especially manouri cheese with the spicy sausage. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.
Green olive tapenade (see recipe)
2 cups of nasturtium leaves
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Peas blanched
1 cup Snap peas blanched and cut in 1/3
2 oz manouri cheese
8 oz of merguez sausage (see recipe) or store bought
1/4 cup capers fried
Nasturtium to garnish
For the Pasta
Take two cups of nasturtium leaves and place the in a blender with the eggs and olive oil. Puree everything until smooth and green. Pour the mixture into the center of a bowl. Place 2 1/2 cups of flour around the outer edge of the spinach in the bowl. With a fork stir the flour into nasturtium mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough. Then use your hands to form the dough. Add more flour if the dough is wet. Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes.
Take your pasta and cut in half. Leave one half covered while you work with the other half. Take one half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine. Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting. Use a little flour for dusting. Then you can make any shape you want pappardelle, fettuccini, farfalle, garganelli etc... I made fettuccini and cavatelli.
Take a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile in a hot saute pan add little oil and the merguez sausage. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the pasta (4 portions) to the water. Boil for 2 minutes or until it floats to the top of the water. Strain out the pasta and place in the pan with the merguez. Add the peas, snap peas, and 2-3 tbsp of green olive tapanade. Toss for another minute and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide pasta into 4 bowls. Finish with fried capers, grated manouri cheese, and lots of nasturtium flowers and petals. Serve and enjoy!